I still remember my first sip of Domaine de Malandes when I was a young buyer for a French bistro in Chicago. I literally double took upon seeing how low the pricing was. While each vintage embodies a different character, the value in these wines is continuous. The Estate is now run by the grandchildren of its original founders. From steep and sundrenched slopes, this wine is refreshingly crisp and citrus-driven, but fleshed out by ripeness and a kiss of oak.
I asked some of our favorite winemakers what they were drinking right now, what excites them, what inspires them.
The first person I asked was Thomas Rivers Brown, the legendary winemaker of Rivers-Marie, Schrader, Aston Estate, and Shibumi Knoll, among others (and notoriously one of the nicest guys to work with). He was, of course, kind enough to take time out of his incredibly demanding schedule to generously respond, and here’s what he said:
We are buying and consuming every 2020 Chablis we can get our hands on. It was a warm year, so the wines have a consistency and generosity I've never seen in a young Chablis vintage before. There's a pecking order across producers still of course but it feels like this vintage it's a much closer call. We are still finding great value in the premier cru wines and exceptional quality across all producers' grand cru bottlings. Everything you love about Chablis is there but in a little denser, more approachable package than years past.
I was delighted to hear Thomas’ response, as Chablis is a frequent occupant of my glass, particularly as we head into prime shellfish season. While classic Chablis and oysters is always a winning combination, the versatility of these wines is remarkable. Here are a few of our favorites. -Jillian Riley