Nathalie and Isabelle Oudin
winegrowers in Chichée, near Chablis
While Domaine Oudin is still quite young (established in 1985), it was built on very solid foundations.
When we were children, our parents Christiane and Jean-Claude decided to leave city life in Paris behind and move with us to a small property in Chichée that used to be owned by our great-grandfather.
They tended the vines in their own way, with no pressure from previous generations.
Nathalie, the eldest, began managing the estate in 2007 after graduating with a degree in oenology and following a series of work experience projects in France and overseas.
Isabelle joined us in 2012.
We grow Chardonnay on 10 hectares of land. Our aim right from the start has been to prioritise high-quality viticulture and respect everything that nature has to offer.
We are incredibly grateful for the outstanding vineyards we inherited.
Our family’s plots are dotted around the village of Chichée, south of Chablis, on the banks of the river Serein. The vines are spread over the slopes and crests of the hills surrounding the village, at an altitude of approximately 150 metres and mostly enjoy southern or south-western exposure.
Our vineyards are divided into three appellations: Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru Vaucoupins and Chablis Premier Cru Vaugiraut.
As soon as our parents established the Domaine, they began managing our vineyard to produce the best wine possible.
On one third of our plots, we tend 70-year-old vines derived from massal selection. The remaining two-thirds were planted around 40 years ago, following a scrupulous process pinpointing quality rootstock and clones. Our rows are more widely spaced than in most other local vineyards, so they benefit from more sun exposure.
As wine quality drops when production rises, we aim for a maximum yield of 60 hl/ha, which leaves no room for error. That means we usually harvest around 45 hl/ha, because any natural occurrence has a big impact on our production. Pruning and disbudding are painstaking.
As we are always focused on protecting the world around us, we tend our vineyards organically. We allow plant cover for biodiversity, use little fertilizer (organic only) and no weedkiller, and our vines have been ploughed since our parents founded the Domaine.
Our belief is that the quality of a wine depends mainly on the quality of the grapes.
We interfere as little as possible. It is a straightforward transformation.
The grapes arrive quickly at the cellar and are pressed. The juice is treated with the utmost respect by our state-of-the-art cellar equipment.
We strive for textured, rich and full-bodied musts. Our aim is to transcribe everything that the vine can offer.
Fermentations are natural, triggered by the natural yeasts and lactic bacteria in our grapes.
We age our wines in stainless steel tanks and leave them on their lees for as long as possible until we bottle ahead of the next year’s harvest. Our Chablis “Les serres” cuvée is left to mature in tanks for 24 months.
The only additions to our wines are sulphur (35 mg/l during bottling) and bentonite (a clay we use to fine the proteins in the wine if the vintage requires it).
We do everything we can to retain every appellation’s typical features, while striving to express the freshness and finesse of each wine.
Our Chablis is appealing, it expresses aromas of white flowers and fresh fruit. On the palate, the wine is elegant with wonderful minerality, underscored by the acidity which provides its structure. It’s best to open this wine within five years.
Our Chablis « les serres » is aged longer on its lees, and therefore offers a wider and more developed range of aromas. It is fuller in the mouth but retains the unmistakeable freshness of Chablis. Extended ageing on lees also nourishes the wines during cool years and brings brightness and tension in warmer years.
Our premier cru Vaugiraut, which is on the left bank of the Serein, releases floral aromas such as linden alongside smokier aromas including liquorice. Beautifully balanced and with powerful minerality from the marl soil in which its vines take root, this wine is very good for cellaring.
Our premier cru Vaucoupins vineyard is 70 years old, and its low yields produce a powerful wine. Its structure in the mouth demonstrates its ageing potential. In its youth, it has aromas of fresh fruit, while after a few years it naturally develops more toasted aromas.
Each vintage has its own characteristics, and we always do our very best to preserve them.
Chablis "les serres"
Chablis Premier Cru Vaugiraut
Chablis Premier Cru Vaucoupins
Neige sur la loge en Serres...
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5 rue du Pont | 89800 Chichée | France
Tél : +33 (0)6 42 40 71 90