Whereas the Côte d’Or more or less escaped the frost in 2017, more northerly Chablis suffered colder temperatures in April and noticeably more damage. The worst hit sectors were the northern part of Chablis, around Lignorelles and Maligny, and then the top vineyards, premier and grand cru, on the Right Bank. These latter may well have been protected by the various methods such as water aspersion and chaufferettes, but the vines still really suffered from the prolonged spell and even without frosting the embryo bunches often aborted into tendrils rather than grape clusters.
After this setback however the growing season was clement and caused few problems, with a precocious harvest, the early pickers starting from 2nd September. The wines come across as more balanced than the previous year with a very clear focus. The grapes ripened well enough but with no sense of surmaturité, while good acidity levels have kept the finishes fresh. This will be a good to very good vintage but my admittedly early visit in May 2018 did not indicate a legendary year. I shall revisit this summer to add to the 25 domaines tasted thus far. As well as producers already well known to me, I had very interesting tastings with Fabien Dauvissat (Domaine Jean Dauvissat), Domaine de l’Enclos, Domaine Moreau-Naudet, Domaine Oudin, Patrick Piuze and Laurent Tribut