File Under “O” for Obvious: Magnums of 2014 Chablis

Posted on: 06/21/18 1:08 PM


Most of us are familiar with Raveneau by now. If not through experience, at least by reputation, as the pinnacle of winemaking in Chablis and one of France’s most hallowed Domaines. Kermit Lynch has been importing Raveneau for the better part of 40+ years now, and introduced Americans along the way to many other remarkable French producers and wine regions in the process.

But Kermit imports other Chablis producers beyond Raveneau, and it stands to reason that his nose for what’s good in Chablis is pretty keen. One of his discoveries many years ago was Domaine Lavantureux, formally helmed by the Lavantureux named Roland. To be honest, the wines were good, but merely good, not great. But with a broad array of very fine vineyards and a younger generation ascending, good things seemed to be in the offing.

Boy were they.

Today, sons Arnaud and Davis have taken over the Domaine and recommitted to the quality of their terroirs. Viticulture is now organic; picking is by hand; and the cellar work is minimal. Their drive and ambition has been obvious to anyone following the Domaine and the quality bhere has skyrocketed since the 2010 vintage. As Kermit himself comments: “Since joining the family operation, the young Arnaud and David have shown remarkable ambition and precision in their work ethic: they have increased the family holdings to twenty-one hectares, adding single-vineyard cuvées while constantly striving for more complexity and layered texture in the mineral-driven beauties they produce.”

When I was on the Kermit Lynch trip in January it came to light that a small number of cases of magnums of the LIGHTS OUT 2014 Chablis were available still at the Domaine. Wise Burgundymonger that I am, I immediately claimed them for Gordon’s.

So, what do we have here then? A rising star producer beginning to gain serious buzz from one of the nation’s leading importers of French wine with an affordable magnum of one of the greatest modern vintages in the appellation. As the subject says: obvious.

2014 Domaine Lavantureux Chablis 1.5L Magnum

♥ – “Outstanding”: “This actually has a whiff of Chartreuse-like character to the otherwise ripe and completely classic aromas of sea breeze, white flowers and citrus hints. There is fine density and mid-palate sap to the delicious and round medium weight flavors that possess a subtle trace of minerality on the bright, delicious and well-balanced finale. Note that this took close to 45 minutes to really get going so be sure to decant it if you’re going to try a bottle before it’s at least 3 years of age or so though it should reward 5 to 7. As is often the case with Lavantureux’ Chablis, it’s well worth checking out.” – Burghound

Posted in Burgundy List By Ian Halbert