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Domaine Besson Chablis Mont de Milieu Premier Cru 2019  - First Bottle

Reviews

93 Wine Enthusiast -
Crisp, cutting notes of greengage plum and white melon lend a cooling touch to this moderately full-bodied yet spry Chablis. With no oak influence, its fruit profile is pristine, edged by shards of steel and zingy green-apple acidity. A bit tight in youth, the wine should open from 2023 and improve well through 2030.

Technical Details

  • BlendChardonnay
  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBurgundy
  • AppellationChablis
  • VineyardMont de Milieu
  • Alcohol13%

Domaine Besson Chablis Mont de Milieu Premier Cru 2019

Chardonnay  |  France
WE93

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The vineyard of Mont de Milieu stands on a hill that used to mark out a boundary between Burgundy and Champagne. It is a south-facing, steeply sloping vineyard, which is essentially a continuation of the sloping hillside of the Grands Crus (including Les Clos, Valmur, Vaudesir, and more). Besson owns just under 2 acres here, so it is one of their smallest production wines. Fourth-generation winemaker Camille Besson loves the extremely small berries from this site’s old vines because of the resulting concentration and depth they provide to the finished wine.

In comparison to the 2018 vintage we offered previously, the 2019 embraces the slightly cooler growing season (2018 was a very warm vintage), and the increased hang-time on the vine to produce a more classical green apple and gun flint chablis with less overt tropical fruit richness than the prior vintage. What was additionally unique about the 2019 vintage is that the consensus among growers believes the wines actually have greater concentration than the 2018s without sacrificing their inherent freshness, with the grapes picked at slightly higher sugar levels, yet maintaining the region’s renowned acidity. If it weren’t for the tragically low yields (some 50% below an average harvest for the region), a greater deal of buzz would almost certainly be associated with the Chablis offerings of 2019.

This was again our favorite of Camille Besson’s Premier Crus with a bright and taut opening of green apples and yellow plums, with crushed lemongrass, and honeydew melon with a fine balance, and utterly scintillating crushed rock finish. It's long, elegant, and angular, subtle spiciness and tremendous complexity. Seriously shocking to have all this at such a price!

PAIRING IDEAS: Ever fried a whole snapper? Let’s change that…this “Chinese style” Crispy Red Snapper will be the star of your next dinner party (along with the Chablis, of course).

MUSIC SUGGESTIONS: Get those hands a’clappin with the Lumineers hit “Ho Hey”!

About the Producer

Domaine Besson's history dates back to 1902 and spans four generations. In 1902, Eugne Besson planted 7.58 hectares off vines in Chablis. Today his grandson, Alain, owns the Domaine. Alain's daughter Camille received her diploma of oenology in 2013 and leads their winemaking efforts. Like most Burgundy growers, Alain holds a hearty respect for the land. He uses a minimum of sprays and fertilizers and takes a non-interventionist approach to farming. He secured some fantastic parcels over the years, expanding to 52 acres of Chablis, Petit Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru. They produce two Grand Crus, one from Vaudesir and the other from a tiny plot of vines smack dab in the middle of the legendary Le Clos vineyard. The name “Mont de Milieu” comes from its location on a hill which used to mark out a boundary between Burgundy and Champagne. It is a south-facing, steeply sloping vineyard, which is essentially a continuation of the adjacent Grands Crus. Besson owns just under 2 acres here. Camille loves the extremely small berries from this site because of the resulting concentration and depth.