2016 Domaine Raveneau Chablis Montee de Tonnerre 1er Cru
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In terms of Chablis, Raveneau has no equal. In 1948, Francois Raveneau purchased several vineyards, adding them to his wife's family collection of estates under the Dauvissat name. In the past, the Raveneau family would purchase vineyards, cultivate grapes, then sell the grapes to other estates. Francois' father Louis had owned multiple plots in Chablis before selling them off in the 1950s during the region's decline in popularity. By the 1960s, Francois saw renewed potential in Chablis wines, and decided to expand his holdings into grand cru parcels. As a result of these purchases and his experience as a fine grape grower, Raveneau earned a reputation as a premium winemaker by the end of the 1970s. After years of encouragement from the international community to open up his wine sales for export, Raveneau finally expanded into the international market for the first time in the 1980s. The popularity of the estate soon boomed, especially under its new winemaker, Jean-Marie Raveneau, who runs the estate to this day with assistance from his brother, Bernard.
The Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru is made with 100 percent Chardonnay on 0.5 hectares of land. The limestone-rich soil, coupled with vines that are 45 years old, on average, result in grapes that are fully mature and are highly terroir-focused. Each vine is harvested by hand before the grapes are gently pressed using the pneumatic method. The estate is one of only five producers left in Chablis who still hand-harvest their fruit. The signature Chablis flavors are always present at this estate, since the Raveneau family only uses indigenous yeasts that match those that naturally occur on the land. The fermentation process takes as long as two weeks, and the wine is later aged for at least 18 months in old oak barrels.