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The most sublime and the most celebrated estate of Chablis, the wines of Domaine Raveneau are a rare find—exceptional because the vineyard holdings are almost entirely made of grand cru and premier cru fruit, painfully finite as so few are produced, outstanding because of their tremendous quality and consistency, and unusual given the modesty of the vignerons who create these world-class wines. 

Bernard Raveneau was clearly in better spirits about the 2014 vintage relative to 2013 that he described to me last year as "one that I would like to forget as quickly as possible. By contrast 2014 produced much more interesting, not to mention much more typical, wines. The early part of the growing season through June was very hot with temperatures that were in the 35 to 40° C range and this created problems for the flowering as there was a lot of shatter. Then conditions changed as July and the first half of August were warm and wet as there was plenty of rain. But happily the second half of August and all of September were clement with warm days, cool nights and virtually no rain. We chose to begin picking on the 17th of September and brought in beautifully clean fruit that possessed good if not genuinely high ripeness levels as potential alcohols averaged right around 12.5%. Yields were average at 45 hl/ha though I frankly expected a bit more but as it turned out there was less juice in the berries than we predicted. The good weather and relatively warm conditions fostered an early end to the malos as they were finished by Christmas. As to the style I would compare 2014 to either 1995 or 2010." Note: the Raveneau 2013s, revisited below, were mostly bottled in April 2015. 

This is aromatically less elegant but more complex with its pretty array of spicy white and slightly exotic orchard fruit scents that display ample Chablis character. The intense middle weight plus flavors possess good volume as well as excellent richness on the opulent and mouth coating finish that somehow manages to retain a sense of refinement, indeed this could accurately be described as combining power with finesse. Note that while this will certainly be capable of reward mid-term cellaring it will also drink well early on if desired. Score: 93 Points; Tasted: Oct 2015; Drink: 2020+; Issue: 60; Allen Meadows; Burghound


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