"A corked bottle of 1983 Pichon-Lalande led to my inaugural visit to this Meursault domaine. My precious Pauillac corked, I ordered a bottle of 2015 Bourgogne Les Femelottes from Chavy-Chouet at Brat restaurant in London. It was so damn delicious that I ordered another and emailed winemaker Romaric Chavy that I must visit pronto.
Arriving at the gates, I noticed that there was no doorbell or knocker. When I was noticed loitering outside, the gates finally opened and Romaric Chavy informed me that they do without a doorbell because they have so many visitors. Chavy is a young and confident guy, very media-savvy, which is uncommon in Burgundy. He worked abroad in various countries including South Africa and Greece before taking over Chavy-Chouet at the age of just 22. Before tasting through the 2017s, which had all been bottled, I asked about the background of the domaine.
“The holdings come from two sides of my grandfather’s family. Chavy comes from Puligny-Montrachet, and his wife was part of the Ropiteau family in Meursault. Back then, he sold the wines to Bouchard Père. It was my own father, Hubert, who started bottling his own wine when he married his wife from Pommard and bought this house in Meursault. I started at the domaine in 2006 when we were still selling off grapes. I already had a good network [of potential clients] and so we started to bottle everything and develop exports. My father passed away in 2014. Now we have 15 hectares, mostly old vines located in five villages, producing around 90,000 bottles, of which around 90% is exported. We have three or four people working full-time and we work in a classical way - lutte raisonée and ploughing in the vineyard. This year we approached half the vineyard organically, but when the pressure became too high, we switched back and used spray. We press the fruit for two hours, with a 24-hour debourbage, and then ferment in barrel using natural yeast, a maximum of 20% new oak for between 9 and 12 months, with no lees stirring and a light filtration before bottling. We try to keep as much natural CO2 as possible.”
It is always a pleasure to discover a producer who has skimmed under your Burgundy radar for some time. Chavy-Chouet has built a loyal following here in the UK and I can understand why. These wines are very pure, terroir-driven and focused. Yet they are not challenging or pretentious and give much sensory pleasure. As I mentioned, you can splash the cash on a Premier Cru white if you wish, but do not ignore the 2017 Bourgogne Blanc Les Femelottes. It is unequivocally Village Cru in quality – no real surprise given that its vines are adjacent to Puligny-Village. The 2017 Meursault Charmes is an absolute knockout, whilst the monopole Clos des Corvées de Citeau is superb. This is an address I will definitely return to in the future, though I have made a mental note to phone ahead, so that I can actually get in. - Neal Martin"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (2017 Burgundy: A Modern Classic, January 2019)