Jean-Paul and Benoît Droin Chablis Montee de Tonnerre 1er Cru 2021
One of the great insider wines, Montée de Tonnerre, expresses many of the characteristics of Grand Cru Chablis which should come as no surprise as it is located on an adjacent hillside to the grand crus but with western exposure. This is a powerful wine in contrast to the more delicate and charming premier crus like Vaillons and Montmains, and it rewards the patience of those who wait a few years before pulling the cork.
Vine Age: 50, 1.76 ha, sustainably farmed
Soil: Kimmeridgian, limestone with microscopic fossilized oysters, veins of blue clay
Winemaking: 3-4 hour prefermentation settling, natural yeast fermentation in tank and barrel
Aging: 10 months in tank (60%) and French oak barrels (40% – 20% of barrels new)
95 points Decanter
Droin's vines have an average age of 50 years with 1.75ha on Kimmeridgian marl with some blue-clay (Marne-bleu). As expected from Montée de Tonnerre, this has more power on the palate but also displays a remarkable balance between weight and elegance - 'complet' as Benoit Droin says. It would be a shame to drink this before 2-3 years and it will keep a very long time. Finishes with a vibrant hit of spicy zesty fruit. (AH)
91-94 points Burghound
Moderately generous wood stops short of fighting with the ripe white orchard fruit, wet stone and spice that also display just enough Chablis typicity to be interesting. A highly sophisticated mouthfeel suffuses the solidly dense middleweight flavors where an almost pungent minerality adds a sense of lift to the attractively dry and sneaky long finale. This beauty is a combination of power and refinement that should age effortlessly. *Burghound Outstanding Sweet Spot!* (10/2022)
92-94 points Vinous
The 2021 Chablis Montée de Tonnerre 1er Cru has perhaps the most austere bouquet amongst Droin's Premier Crus, though it is very defined with subtle struck flint notes coming through. The palate is very well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, taut and fresh, superb acidity with real weight and concentration on the finish. Another superb wine from Droin this year. (NM) (6/2022)
92-94 points Jasper Morris
Fullish pale yellow. Powerful but discreet, not too sunny. There is a touch of coconut from the wood, definitely some yellow fruit, with a slightly smoky finish, very typical and quite lovely. Drink from 2025-2031.