During a recent trip to Burgundy, I tasted many fantastic wines. On most of these trips, I taste the region’s new vintage, and occasionally a grower or house will open a few older bottles. This time, however, I had the opportunity to taste several mature Burgundies, from just about every decade back to the 1860s!
One evening I dined alone and chose a François Raveneau Chablis Chapelot 1999, on the wine list for a very reasonable 47 euros (about $70). Raveneau is one of the top growers in Chablis. I buy Raveneau’s Chablis when I can afford them and drink them as often as possible.
It was hard to believe that, after 10 years in the bottle, the Chardonnay was still pale yellow, flecked by green. Its bouquet was clean, incisive and invigorating, offering a mélange of lemon, spring water over stones, iodine, beeswax and honey.
Full-bodied, dry and savory, the white crossed the palate with a saline, stony astringency, exuding great clarity and length. It was ideal both as an aperitif, to whet the appetite, and as a partner for the scallop appetizer. 94 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Chablis.