Time Well Spent
Clotilde Davenne dubbed her 1.9 hectare plot of 25 year old chardonnay vines in Petit Chablis “Les Temps Perdu.” This was both an homage to Proust’s massive novel, and a reference to what the locals told her about the land; that it was a waste of time to work. “Why bother with Petit Chablis,” they asked. But this plot was completely in kimmeridgien terroir, just like Chablis, it was only its exposition – western – that made it “petit.” Clotilde’s decision to go her own way and ignore the conventional wisdom is indicative of her manner of working in her vines and cellar. She is a truly independent vigneron.
Clotilde, who comes from a cattle farming family, began her wine career as chief oenologist for the well-known Chablis producer Jean-Marc Brocard. After working with Brocard for 16 years she eventually began assembling her own domain, one small parcel at a time, bottling her first vintage in 2005. Today her domain is comprised of vines in Chablis, Cote d’Auxerre, St. Bris – les Vignes, and Petit Chablis. Her vines in Chablis are as old as 50 years as are her pinot noir vines in Irancy. But perhaps Clotilde’s most prized parcel is 3.5 ha of nearly 100 year old sauvignon blanc vines in St. Bris. She makes a mere 200 cases a year of this complex, intensely concentrated wine.
Along with the wonderful range of wines Clotilde bottles from her estate holdings, she has access to fruit from prémier and grand cru vineyards in Chablis grown by vigneron who work to her exacting specification. In her own vines Clotilde is working naturally as possible, without the use of chemicals, and almost all of her production is harvested by hand. In the cellar all the wines undergo malolactic fermentation, a conscious decision by Clotilde, as she feels it brings greater complexity to the wines.”
Never listening to the doubters, Clotilde has taken a plot of “waste of time” vines and developed it into the rewarding project of a lifetime.
Crémant de Bourgogne ‘Extra Brut’ NV
91 pts – Wine Enthusiast, December 2020
Crémant de Bourgogne ‘Extra Brut’ Rosé NV
Chablis Vielles Vignes
2021 – 92 pts – Tim Atkin
Chablis 1er Cru 'Montmains'
Chablis 1er Cru 'Fourchaume'
Chablis Grand Cru 'Les Clos'
2017 – 90-93 pts Allen Meadows Issue 72, 4th Quarter 2018
2017 – 96 pts Wine Enthusiast, December 2020
Bourgogne Aligoté Vieilles Vignes
Saint-Bris Vieilles Vignes
2014 – 89 pts Allen Meadows Issue 72 4th Quarter 2018
2017 – 89-91 pts Allen Meadows Issue 72 4th Quarter 2018