2018 Patrick Piuze Terroir de Chichee Chablis 750 ml

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The vineyard is located on a plateau on the right bank of the Serein river, east of the village of Chichée within the original historic AOC Chablis boundaries. The vines on the plateau take the influence of the wind of the year, and the soil is composed of 100% Kimmeridgian limestone and clay, whose origin dates back to the 200-million-year old Jurassic period.

Patrick only sources wine from the original 12th century Chablis boundaries, which means that all his cuvees hail from the celebrated Kimmeridgian limestone—a unique terroir rich in fossils, prized for creating stony, complex Chardonnays. Each grower has their own method of sustainable farming; neither synthetic herbicides nor fertilizers are used, and regular plowing controls weeds. The common thread is a fundamental respect for the soil, which is essential for Patrick, a longtime student of Chablis’ terroirs. In a land of predominantly mechanized harvests, Patrick and his team set themselves apart in the appellation by harvesting entirely by hand. They tend to pick earlier than most growers in order to impart a nervy and acidic backbone to the finished wine.

Patrick favors long fermentations with native yeasts and ages all of his wines on their lees. Allowing nature to take its time and letting the temperatures rise and fall of their own accord allows the skins to soften and gracefully impart their aromatics and flavors into the finished wine. The grapes are pressed gently by mechanical press. Primary fermentation for the Chablis “Terroir de Chichée” takes place in stainless steel tanks and can last up to five months. The wine then goes through 100% malolactic fermentation and ages on the lees for four months in stainless steel tanks before a light bentonite fining, a light filtration with diatomaceous earth, and bottling.

There’s wonderful tension here, where aromas of citrus, sea breeze and green apple offset an opulent mid-weight palate. The generous aromatics and mouth-feel culminate into a long finish filled with notes of crushed oyster shells and more hints of citrus.

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