Roland Lavantureux Chablis Vieilles Vignes is a hell of a drink. Tropical, hints of smoke, fruit tingle, tropical jelly. Creamy and silky finish. Not super mineral at this stage, the focus is on flesh and ripe fruits. I’d keep this one for 7 or so years. Roland Lavantureux Chablis Vieilles Vignes is a wine that is built to improve with time.
Domaine Roland Lavantureux is a family Estate. Roland and Brigitte’s sons Arnaud and David are in control of the Estate. The Estate is 20 hectare that is farmed lutte raisonnée (the reasonable struggle or ‘as organic as possible but we will spray if we have to’). There is also further holdings from another side of the family coming on board soon. I am new to the producer but am impressed by the richness of the wines they make while still holding that classic Chablisness. They are a winery to watch and wines to keep for the mid-long term.
The Kimmeridgian soils that make Chablis taste like Chablis is evident in these wines. They have more definition of the region and more structure than a Petit Chablis but without the fruit weight and intensity of the better sites. Great wines for drinking young or youngish.
On the bottom of the Chablis hierarchy, Petit Chablis is often from lesser sites and sometimes not on the Kimmeridgian soils that make Chablis taste like Chablis. I often find that a Petit Chablis is like a Non-Vintage Champagne in that it reflects the producer’s house style more than site or vintage. The best are wonderful, just like a small Chablis and they can be wonderfully cheap too
The grape that you can plant anywhere, in any climate and do anything to and it will still taste like an OK wine. When people hit the sweet spot of site, climate, cropping and winemaking, Chardonnay becomes a magical wine that will age gracefully but charm you at any age. Chardonnays can range from cool-climate lean and citrusy to warmer climate tropical and overt. Oak and lees can add flavouring as can malolactic fermentation.