Iris, narcissus, peony, heliotrope, lemon, white peach, and litchi combine for the knockout nose of Raveneau’s 2008 Chablis Montee de Tonnerre. Uncannily combining a sense of textural richness, underlying extract, and decisively stony, alkaline, chalky, oyster shell minerality that go beyond its fellow premier crus in this collection. Yet this preserves a vintage-typical core of primary juiciness that helps convey lip-smacking appeal. Musky, sweet floral notes cling to the prodigiously long, expansive, finish of this almost certainly relatively un-evolved wine. Give it several years in bottle and expect to be rewarded for over a decade.
Bernard Raveneau had been among those growers most bursting with enthusiasm about his 2008s when I had visited the following April, likening them to 1996s but with effusively floral and high-toned herbal aromatics such as he said he had never experienced in his young wines. As with the 2007s (and compared with 2009s that Raveneau expected to give shorter elevage), the collection here was bottled largely in late spring and early summer, only two wines having been bottled when I tasted them this April. (The others were in tank or pre-assembled for me.) But it was already clear by then that this collection has justified its author’s initial excitement and confidence.
Bright yellow with a green tinge. Classic Montée de Tonnerre aromas of lemon ice, crushed rock, iodiney minerality and white flowers. floral, lemon ice, straight and classic. Tactile, juicy and utterly gripping--in fact still almost painful today. Powerful salty minerality and penetrating acidity currently dominate the wine's lemon oil, grapefruit and floral flavors, with the wine showing a weightless impression. The dusty mineral-driven finish stains the palate and builds inexorably. (When I first tasted this wine from the barrel, I suggested that it might be the longest Chablis premier cru of the vintage.) Drink the 2010 for lunch now but hold this magical wine for another couple years, as its spring is still tightly coiled. This was my favorite wine of the tasting. The 2014 and 2010 vintages may be richer and deeper, as Isabelle Raveneau suggested to me three years ago, but this '08 is utterly classic.