2014 'Château Grenouilles' Chablis Les Grenouilles Grand Cru AC
Chardonnay •Les Grenouilles
Grenouilles is the smallest of the seven official Chablis Grand Cru climats, located just above the banks of the river Serein. The southern exposure of the Grenouilles site leads to perceptibly riper flavors in its Chardonnay-based wines, which are associated with stonefruit, orange peel and honey, softer and more open in their youth than those from the other climats. They can also vary considerably with age, sometimes showing power and sometimes delicate balance.
The triangular vineyard lies in the very center of the hill that hosts all of the Chablis Grand Cru vineyards, sandwiched between the Valmur and Vaudesir Grand Cru sites. It is named (in a roundabout way) for the river which flows along its southwestern border: grenouille means “frog” in French, refering to the vineyard’s frequent amphibian visitors.
The climat, on the lower part of the hill, rises steeply from the valley floor before flattening out somewhat. This terrain has proved useful for sunlight exposure, as it faces largely south with a slight skew towards the morning sun in the east. All-day sunshine in this vineyard means that grapes can reach optimum levels of ripeness in the cool climate here; more so than higher on the slopes. The warmer mesoclimate here is particularly obvious when Grenouilles wines are compared with those from the cooler Grand Cru climats such as Blanchot, which produces wines with cooler, crisper flavors of lime and grapefruit.
Soils in the Grenouilles vineyard are based on the Kimmeridgian type: a fossil-rich subsoil composed of layers of marl and limestone. This terroir manifests itself in Grenouilles as relatively deep clay and pebbly limestone, allowing vines to develop deep root systems. This soil is often given credit for imparting the rich minerality to Chablis wines, Grenouilles Grand Cru included.
The Grenouilles vineyard site covers only 23 acres (9.5ha) of land, three-quarters of which is owned by the La Chablisienne co-operative. Its Chateau de Grenouilles wines are produced here.
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
95 Points - Wine Enthusiast - “This small property with its own château lies within the lower portion of Vaudésir but is considered a Grand Cru in its own right. The wine—the flagship of the cooperative—is opulent, showing strong wood aging flavors that will soften with time. Ripe and generous with yellow fruit flavor, it also boasts a tight mineral acidity and crispness, making it a good candidate for cellaring. Drink from 2021.”
92 Points - Wine Advocate - “The 2014 Chablis Grand Cru Les Grenouilles, which is aged in both oak barrels and stainless steel, has a tightly-wound but well-defined bouquet with white flower scents filtering through the citrus fruit, laced with white peach and persimmon aromas. The palate is very well balanced with light peach skin notes on the entry. This feels harmonious in the mouth, a Grenouilles laden with weight and intensity, yet remaining precise and detailed on the lightly spiced, cohesive finish. This is an excellent Chablis with long ageing potential. Drink 2018-2032.”
Bright, deep gold.
Opulent, showing strong wood-aging flavors that will soften with time.
Ripe and generous with yellow fruit flavor.
It also boasts a tight mineral acidity and crispness.
A good candidate for cellaring. Drink from 2021.
What the Winery Says
- Hervé Tucki
- 100% Chardonnay
- Les Grenouilles Grand Cru
- Les Grenouilles
- Upper and Middle Kimmeridgian, alternating limestone and marl with fossilized ‘Exogyra Virgula’
- Planting Density
- 5,000-6,500 vines/ha
- South-West facing slopes on the upper part Grenouilles
- Average Vine Age
- 40 years
- Cold settling before fermentation, stainless steel and oak
- 20 months on fine lees in tanks and barrels
- 8 barrels