Raveneau Montée de Tonnerre Vertical

Vin Vino Wine, Palo Alto, California

Tasted December 31, 2010 by Richard Jennings with 989 views

Introduction


This was a delightful way to spend a New Year's Eve afternoon. Vin Vino Wine in Palo Alto has a tradition of special verticals for New Year's Eve, and this was the first year they made it a vertical of whites.

I've written a lot about Raveneau here, because I love Chablis and Raveneau is one of the top two or three producers. The brothers Raveneau, following in their father François's footsteps, make gorgeous wines. For more about the Domaine, see my recent post here: http://www.rjonwine.com/chablis/raveneau-dauvissat-fevre/

Montée de Tonnerre is consistently cited as the top premier cru vineyard in Chablis. Like the other two top Chablis premier crus, Fourchaume and Mont de Milieu, it lies on the right bank of the Serien, immediately southeast of the Grand Crus, sharing their southwest facing orientation. It is separated from the Grand Cru Les Blanchots Vineyard by a narrow ravine. It is a large vineyard, at 40.22 hectares. Many critics agree that, in the hands of the Raveneaus, Montée de Tonnerre is as good as the Grand Crus of most other producers.

I've tried nearly all of these vintages of Montée de Tonnerre one or more times before, but this was my first time tasting them side by side, and it was instructive. There is a weight to them that distinguishes them from the premier cru Chablis of other producers. I thought they varied a lot in taste profile, speaking very much of their vintages, with the exception of the '01, of which I've had much better bottles in the past (the one in this tasting was somewhat oxidized). The '03 had the ripeness one expects from that hot vintage, although somewhat obscured by the reduction that dominated this bottle. Both the '05 and '01 hinted at some botrytis. My favorites were the '04 (the most stunning of a few bottles I've had of this vintage which, strangely, doesn't seem to have shut down like Chablis typically does at this age), followed by the 2000 and the '06. The one older bottle in this line up, the '96, was definitely showing its age. It was still very appealing, with the hazelnut and buttery quality I expect from top Chablis with 15 or more years of age, but from this bottle, at least, it's hard to see that it is going to last as long as many older Raveneaus I've tasted (i.e., 25 years or more).

Flight 1 (9 notes)

White
2007 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
92 points
Light yellow color; poised, ripe apple, lemon gelee, mineral nose; tasty, apple, saline, lemon, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 92+ pts.
White
2006 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
93 points
Light lemon yellow color; appealing, bright lemon, mineral, dried lemon nose; tasty, poised, creamy textured, ripe and tart lemon, juicy, citrus, cream palate, needs 2-plus years; medium-plus finish 93+ pts.
White
2005 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
92 points
Light lemon yellow color; nice tart lemon, mineral, lemon poppyseed cake nose with a touch of botrytis; tasty, tight, tart lemon, mineral palate with a sense of salinity; medium finish
White
2004 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
95 points
Light lemon yellow color; rich, sweet butter, toast, mineral, cream nose; tasty, poised, creamy textured, balanced, salted butter, lemon, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 95+ pts.
White
2003 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
90 points
Light lemon yellow color; reduction, tart lemon, lemon rind nose; reduction, tart lemon, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 90+ pts.
White
2002 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
92 points
Light lemon yellow color; ripe apple, sweet lemon nose; tasty, bright, tart apple, lemon palate with density; medium-plus finish 92+ pts.
White
2001 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
87 points
Light lemon yellow color; reduction, pineapple upside down cake, kumquat nose; kumquat, reduction, tart apple palate with a little oxidation, disappointing; medium-plus finish (since I had a lovely bottle of this a month ago, I know this was just an unfortunate, oxidized one)
White
2000 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
94 points
Light lemon yellow color; ravishing toast, mineral, lemon cream nose; tasty, maturing, creamy, light toast, mineral, tart lemon palate; medium-plus finish 94+ pts.
White
1996 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
92 points
Light medium golden yellow color; mature, hazelnut, dried mushroom nose; hazelnut, baked lemon, mineral, clarified butter palate; medium-plus finish
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