The 2015 Chablis 1Er Cru Vaillons was difficult to pin down last year from barrel when it trailed behind the other premier crus. Of course, it was just playing a trick on this writer because it has blossomed into one fabulous Vaillons. It is blessed with a pretty, wet limestone-scented bouquet, very open and transparent with a touch of spice developing with aeration. The palate skips along, fresh and tensile with a keen thread of acidity. I love the tension here that enlivens this Chablis from start to finish and lends the finish real energy and persistence. What a great Vaillons this is turning out to be and a bit of a revelation after its showing 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.