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WHITE WINE

Domaine Jean Collet 'Montée de Tonnerre' 1er Cru Chablis, Burgundy, France 2021

  • $52.00

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CHARDONNAY
LINEAR & MINERAL
BIODYNAMIC FARMING
COLLECTIBLE & CELLAR-WORTHY and BOTTLE CLUB 2023
CHABLIS and BURGUNDY
FRANCE

The Collet family can trace its grape growing history in Chablis all the way back to 1792. In 1954, Jean Collet began Domaine Collet, finally utilizing the family's crop to produce wines from the various terroirs at their disposal. Jean eventually passed along the torch to his son Gilles, who then passed it on to his son Romain, in 2008. Romain was only 21 when he completely took over winemaking at Domaine Collet, but by then he had already introduced new ideas to the winery, such as biodynamic farming and natural yeast fermentations. 

Romain's natural curiosity, paired with multi-generational knowledge of the family's vineyards, have helped to hone the Domaine's reputation for producing incredibly terroir-driven wines that reflect the individuality of the parcels they farm. In the cellar, the Collets specify their winemaking techniques to emphasize the strongest characteristics of each parcel; vineyards that generally produce wine with more acidity high-toned minerality (such as Vaillons) are usually left in tank, for instance, while vineyards that are more dominant in clay (like Montée de Tonnerre) will see more extensive wood contact, to match the textural weight that clay can bring Chardonnay. This attention to detail in winemaking, combined with the family's history in these older parcels, has quickly made Domaine Collet a yearly favorite for us here at DECANTsf!

Winemaker: Romain Collet

Farming: Certified Organic

Variety: 100% Chardonnay, planted in 1972

Terroir: The Collets are the biggest owners on this hill with ten hectares  divided up into fifteen different parcels. Montée de Tonnerre (aka 'Thunder Mountain') is easily the most famous of the Chablis Premier Crus. Kimmeridgian limestone marl bedrock with topsoil of hard Portlandian limestone scree, marl and marne (calcium-rich clay derived from decomposed limestone)

Vinification:  Hand harvested, pressed and spontaneously (naturally) fermented in 2nd and 3rd year 228-liter French oak barrels (with a touch of new, at 5%). Malolactic is completed and the wine is lightly filtered and fined.

Aging: Aged in 2nd and 3rd year 228-liter French oak barrels (with a touch of new, at 5%) for eleven months, then racked into stainless steel vats and bottled after five more months.

Tasting Notes: Hints of salt and flint intertwine with fresh yellow citrus, gooseberry, and bursts of green apple skins. The wine finishes with a dense texture and subtle notes of creamy almonds. 

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From our 2023 Cellar Builder Club:

Jean Collet Montée de Tonnerre 1er Cru Chablis, Burgundy, France 2020

Mama Cara loves her Chablis, and I like to give folks who say “I don’t like Chardonnay” because this is the opposite of what many think “Chardonnay” is. Domaine Jean Collet makes terroir-driven wine that reflects the unique characteristics of the land it comes from. Chablis is Burgundy, but far north of the Côte d’Or, where you find the richer Montrachet or Meursault. The terroir is characterized by Kimmeridgian limestone derived from fossilized oyster shells and a cooler, shorter growing season, while the Cote d'Or is primarily composed of clay and limestone and is slightly warmer. These are some reasons why when someone says “Chablis”, you’ll think of mineral-driven whites with taught acidity and low influence of new oak.

The Collet family has been growing grapes in Chablis since 1792 and owns more of the Montée de Tonnerre vineyards than anyone else. Jean Collet established the domaine in 1954. Now, Jean's grandson Romain Collet continues the family tradition with his commitment to biodynamic farming and natural yeast fermentation. 

The Montée de Tonnerre is arguably the most important and long-lived Premier Cru vineyard in Chablis. The vines sit on a hill with Kimmeridgian limestone marl bedrock and topsoil of hard Portlandian limestone and a higher percentage of clay, which contributes to the wine's signature electric minerality and broad texture. 

In the cellar, Romain uses natural yeast fermentations and specifies their winemaking techniques to highlight the strongest characteristics of each parcel. The Montée de Tonnerres is fermented and aged in 2nd-and-3rd-year 228-liter French oak barrels, 5% of which is new, to match the weight higher clay soil content brings to Chardonnay. This wine has vigorous intensity on the palate, fresh pomelo, yellow apple, hints of salt and flint, and subtle notes of creamy almonds and minerality shining through the finish.

As for food pairings, this Chablis would pair well with seafood dishes like grilled scallops, crab cakes, or poached shrimp, and it can age, too! Montée de Tonnerre translates to Thunder Mountain, and you can feel its power in every sip! —Cara Patricia