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Jean-Marc Brocard, Chablis Vieilles Vignes 2014

White Wine from France - Burgundy
Firm yet fleshy Chablis from a plot planted in 1946. Matured in a concrete egg to allow development with a little oxygen without any wood influence.
is no longer available
Code: BU61991

Wine characteristics

  • White Wine
  • 2 - Dry
  • Chardonnay
  • 12.5% Alcohol
  • No oak influence
  • Cork, diam

Chablis

Though it is nominally a region of Burgundy there are several factors that make Chablis a quite distinct wine style from its southerly neighbours. The first is distance, the vineyards here being more than sixty miles north of Beaune and separated from the rest of Burgundy by the Morvan Hills. The second is the soil which defines the amphitheatre of hills upon which the best sites lie. The Kimmeridgian clay, which the French call argilo-calcaire, is packed with marine fossils, which in this area sits atop limestone. Finally, and crucially, the climate is considered semi-continental, with no real maritime influence, and where winters are hard and very cold and summers generally hot. One of the biggest risks facing Chablis growers is frost which is a regular and damaging visitor. It is one of the key factors in determining how much wine will be made in any given vintage and most growers go to extraordinary lengths to protect their vines every spring, including heaters among the vines and ...
Though it is nominally a region of Burgundy there are several factors that make Chablis a quite distinct wine style from its southerly neighbours. The first is distance, the vineyards here being more than sixty miles north of Beaune and separated from the rest of Burgundy by the Morvan Hills. The second is the soil which defines the amphitheatre of hills upon which the best sites lie. The Kimmeridgian clay, which the French call argilo-calcaire, is packed with marine fossils, which in this area sits atop limestone. Finally, and crucially, the climate is considered semi-continental, with no real maritime influence, and where winters are hard and very cold and summers generally hot. One of the biggest risks facing Chablis growers is frost which is a regular and damaging visitor. It is one of the key factors in determining how much wine will be made in any given vintage and most growers go to extraordinary lengths to protect their vines every spring, including heaters among the vines and a spray system that coats the buds with water. The measures taken have meant that life for a Chablis vigneron is not quite the lottery it used to be, though there is much vintage variation still.

Chardonnay is the only permitted variety, though there are two schools of thought on how to treat it in the winemaking. Some seek the purest expression of the terroir and the fruit, emphasising the steely, mineral qualities, while others believe that a dash of oak after fermentation can add layers of flavour and complexity to the wine. Most producers eschew oak, and those that do use new barrels rarely use it without restraint.

As with the rest of Burgundy, a hierarchy exists to demarcate the best vineyards. Seven Grand Cru vineyards have been registered, all on the south-west facing slopes of the valley of the Serein river. Below this level are 40 Premiers Cru sites. The area that is permitted to produce Chablis AC and some Premiers Crus has expanded in recent decades, as frost damage has been contained, and this has caused some controversy despite arguments that the land newly planted was once Premiers Cru before phylloxera constricted the land under vine.

The local cooperative makes about a third of all Chablis, though more and more growers who were once committed to the co-op are now making wine for themselves, which has also led to a concomitant reduction in the number négociants.
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Jean-Marc and Julien Brocard

Jean-Marc Brocard's origins lie in the Côte d'Or. But he was born a farmer's son from the village of Chaudenay-le-Château, and trained as an agricultural engineer, along the way designing and trademarking a trailer attachment. It was an accident of marriage that brought him to wine: he married Claudine (his childhood sweetheart), a vigneron's daughter from the village of St-Bris-le-Vineux in the valley of L’ Yonne. Starting with a hectare of vines from his father-in-law, Emile Petit in 1973.

With much hard work he now has control of about 180 hectares, part of which is 'en fermage' (25-year rental agreements). Brocard has gradually become one of the leading lights of Chablis and has been supplying The Society for many years with many wines including The Society’s Chablis and Exhibition Chablis Premier Cru. Despite being a very good businessman, this self-made man also has a great feel and intuitive understanding for the land, in which he was greatly influenced by a friend and mentor called Petit Louis, and has a profound, almost spiritual, belief in how to look after it and allow the terroir to express itself.

Since 2012 Jean-Marc has handed over day-to-day control of the vineyards and business to his son Julien, who earned his stripes after successfully gaining organic certification and trialling biodynamic viticulture in the Boissonneuse vineyard, producing wonderful wine from this vineyard. He is now converting all the vineyards of the estate to this method of...
Jean-Marc Brocard's origins lie in the Côte d'Or. But he was born a farmer's son from the village of Chaudenay-le-Château, and trained as an agricultural engineer, along the way designing and trademarking a trailer attachment. It was an accident of marriage that brought him to wine: he married Claudine (his childhood sweetheart), a vigneron's daughter from the village of St-Bris-le-Vineux in the valley of L’ Yonne. Starting with a hectare of vines from his father-in-law, Emile Petit in 1973.

With much hard work he now has control of about 180 hectares, part of which is 'en fermage' (25-year rental agreements). Brocard has gradually become one of the leading lights of Chablis and has been supplying The Society for many years with many wines including The Society’s Chablis and Exhibition Chablis Premier Cru. Despite being a very good businessman, this self-made man also has a great feel and intuitive understanding for the land, in which he was greatly influenced by a friend and mentor called Petit Louis, and has a profound, almost spiritual, belief in how to look after it and allow the terroir to express itself.

Since 2012 Jean-Marc has handed over day-to-day control of the vineyards and business to his son Julien, who earned his stripes after successfully gaining organic certification and trialling biodynamic viticulture in the Boissonneuse vineyard, producing wonderful wine from this vineyard. He is now converting all the vineyards of the estate to this method of cultivation. They produce wine from their own vineyards, some 'en fermage' as well as from bought-in grapes.

The house style has been for maturation in stainless steel as the delicate aromas of Chablis are easily masked by barrels less than four years old. The winery itself is extremely impressive; built in stages from 1980, it houses stainless steel temperature-controlled fermentation vats to accentuate the purity and freshness of the wines. But they have had great success with foudres (large oak barrels) for certain wines, such as Le Clos and are trialling concrete 'egg'-shaped vats.

After years of experimentation, all wines will be bottled with Diam corks or screw caps from the 2012 vintage onwards. These closures best protect the wine during its maturation in bottle. The Brocard range of Chablis to be found in these tanks includes a Vieilles Vignes cuvée which is often exceptional, and the aforementioned La Boissoneuse. Premier Cru examples include Vaucoupin, Vaulorent and Mont de Milieu while the grands crus include Le Clos and Valmur.
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Burgundy Vintage 2014

2014 White Burgundy is the best white vintage I have tasted since I began tasting from barrel with the 1995 vintage. It is ripe and concentrated but doesn’t taste heavy. Virtually everything is good from Chablis to the Mâconnais. It will be delicious young and old. We suggest you buy all you can of this year.

In Chablis, a very fine vintage that turned out particularly well thanks to some fine autumn weather. Flowering had been early and with a later harvest the season was extended, allowing the fruit to reach perfect maturity in higher yields than in 2013. There is lovely balance to the wines of 2014.

The red wine scenario is a little more complicated. The Côte de Nuits has produced a delicious crop of ripe and friendly wines with soft tannins. After a serious of low yielding vintages, the vines had something in reserve and yields were a little high for great quality. They are better than the 2011s but do not appear to be as good as the 2012s or 2013s.

The Côte de Beaune again got...
2014 White Burgundy is the best white vintage I have tasted since I began tasting from barrel with the 1995 vintage. It is ripe and concentrated but doesn’t taste heavy. Virtually everything is good from Chablis to the Mâconnais. It will be delicious young and old. We suggest you buy all you can of this year.

In Chablis, a very fine vintage that turned out particularly well thanks to some fine autumn weather. Flowering had been early and with a later harvest the season was extended, allowing the fruit to reach perfect maturity in higher yields than in 2013. There is lovely balance to the wines of 2014.

The red wine scenario is a little more complicated. The Côte de Nuits has produced a delicious crop of ripe and friendly wines with soft tannins. After a serious of low yielding vintages, the vines had something in reserve and yields were a little high for great quality. They are better than the 2011s but do not appear to be as good as the 2012s or 2013s.

The Côte de Beaune again got hailed, this year on the 28 June which affected about 3000 ha of vineyards destroying between 10 and 90% of the crop. Volnay, Pommard, Beaune, Savigny and Corton all got hit by the storm. These one has to judge wine by wine. Where the vines lost more crop than leaves the grapes concentrated and made ripe and rich wines. In the opposite scenario the wines can be a little tough. Between these two poles there are a multitude of styles.
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2014 vintage reviews
2012 vintage reviews

100 AWEsome Wines

A classic wine from agreat winemaker. Jean-Marc Brocard’s winemaking is simple but his wine isanything but. Tight, lean and crisp with plenty of citrus fruit. This wine willdrink now but can age a...
A classic wine from agreat winemaker. Jean-Marc Brocard’s winemaking is simple but his wine isanything but. Tight, lean and crisp with plenty of citrus fruit. This wine willdrink now but can age a few years.
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- Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW

JancisRobinson.com

Deep straw.Absolutely classic Chablis! This would make the most superb teaching aid withthat slight suggestion of wet wool and oatmeal on a riverbed. Bravo! And it’sready now… 

17/20 Jancis Robinson

The Sunday Times

There’s no pairinglike oysters and Chablis — perhaps since the area’s soil contains prehistoricoyster shells. Full-bodied, with mature notes of apple and a long, floralfinish.

- Will Lyons

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