Chablis Grand Cru Blanchots 0.68
Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 0.5
Chablis Grand Cru Valmur 0.75
Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux 1.49
Chablis 1er Cru Chapelots 1.95
Chablis 1er Cru Forêt 0.67
Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre 1.18
Chablis 1er Cru Montmains 0.36
Chablis 1er Cru Vaillon 0.49
Chablis 1.11
Petit Chablis 0.82

When tasting at domaines such as Raveneau or Dauvissat it is as well to throw out received wisdom. They are not seeking hero-worship, and they do not think that they have all the answers. They have respect for their vineyards and common sense when making the wines, and they stick to their family traditions unless they see a way to improve matters. François Raveneau, the first of the family to bottle his own wine, retired in 1988 (though retaining some involvement through to 1995). One son, Jean-Marie, had been working alongside his father since 1979, while another, Bernard, joined the business in 1995. Now the domaine continues under the next generation with Bernard’s daughter Isabelle involved since 2010 and Jean-Marie’s son Maxime since 2017.

The domaine has not stood still and the wines continue to evolve in style. One reason has been the construction of a new cellar in 2012-13. There are now very few of the 132 litre feuillettes. No longer needed in the new cellar, whereas before they fit into the cramped vaulted cellars better than 228 litre barrels. Indeed with the arrival of the bumper 2018 crop, the Raveneaus invested in a number of larger barrels of 350l, 400l and above. New barrels now come mainly from Stéphane Chassin, but as before the grapes are crushed before pressing, then the majority of the wines are vinified in tank and then brought to barrel early in the following spring, before bottling a full year later.

I significantly increased my consumption of Raveneau Chablis during the five years that the restaurant Au Fil du Zinc was open under Fabien Espana’s tenure. A treat which came my way more than once was the 1986 Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux, a cuvée raised in 100% new oak and left in disgrace at the back of the cellar until it had mellowed – which took 30 years! I like this powerful cuvée chez raveneau in any case. It has considerable power thanks to the blue marly-clay soil and so is served later in among the Right Bank wines. One of these. Chapelot, is temporarily in abeyance having been grubbed up in 2010 for replanting.

Dedicated Tastings From: Domaine François Raveneau

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