The 2015 Chablis 1er Cru les Butteaux escaped any damage by hail and is, in Isabelle’s opinion, the most classical and Chablis-like, whereas other wines express the growing season. It has a pretty, perfumed, perhaps exotic bouquet compared to the other cuvées this year and is very expressive, with apricot blossom emerging with time. The palate is very well balanced with a precise line of acidity and, again, is very expressive with a shimmering, quite captivating finish that exudes both mineralité and fruit intensity. This has turned into an outstanding Butteaux that punches above my prediction from barrel.
Since 2010, Isabelle Raveneau has deftly slipped into the daily running of the most revered Chablis domain of them all. When we met up I wanted to know a little more about how she became the next generation to tend the vines. Her journey was certainly not a direct one. It rather zigzagged its way back to Chablis. Winemaking found her, not the other way round. Growing up, there was no expectation of continuing the winemaking tradition and instead she did what normal young people do: backpacked around Australia, working as a waitress then in an office job in England where she clearly honed her almost fluent English, enjoying hobbies such as handball where she played for the region. It was only after the passing of her grandmother, when she realized that her family's winemaking tradition might come to an end, that she accepted the baton from her father and uncle.