We often get great questions from our customers and fellow wine enthusiasts. One memorable question was how long we recommended you keep a Chablis for… What is your recommendation for the latest date a Chablis should be drunk, i.e. 4 years, 6 years, 8 years?
Good question. The simple response is that it always depends on the vintage. And then of course, on whether it’s Chablis, 1er Cru or Grand Cru. If you bought 2002 from us, it would have been 1er Cru, (our guess). And we’d expect a 2002 at 14 years to be either too old, or a particular manifestation of Chardonnay. We would expect the former, given the vintage! Petit Chablis, on the other hand, can be enjoyed straight away while young, or with a couple of years of age.
Chablis vintages can be classed either as warm and fruity/spicy, or cooler and delicate with more minerality. As Chablis is a northerly region of Burgundy, great care is taken to avoid spring frosts which damage or kill the grapes – that’s why you’ll often see so-called ‘smudge pots’ burning to keep temperatures up in the vineyards. So which Chablis vintages will last…? 2010 everyone says is solid. 2009 has less acidity and will be great in the short term. 2018 proves it’s possible to reconcile quality and quantity, even in the north of Burgundy. But really, if you want to keep Chablis to age +8 years…you should be in Grand Cru.
How should you give your bottles the best chance of improving over time? There are some simple tips you can use to ensure that your Chablis – in fact all wine – is kept in the best conditions. Dark, cool and consistent places are best – not kitchens with heat, bright light and strong odours! Some humidity is useful as it stops the label and the cork drying out, though too much can cause other problems like mould – aim for 70-80% if you can. Plus, the size of the bottle makes an appreciable difference too – so magnums can generally age for longer than demi-bottles.
Browse our selection of Chablis wines here, including some excellent examples from Domaine Oudin (Chablis 1er Cru ‘Vaugiraut’ 2017), and Jean Dauvissat Pere et Fils (Chablis 1er Cru ‘Cote de Lechet’ 2016).