"From organically farmed vines, the 2020 Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux unwinds in the glass to deliver notions of white flowers, crisp green apple, orange oil and fresh bread. Medium to full-bodied, ample and satiny, with a glossy attack, racy acids and a saline finish, it sees some élevage in barrel, Collet explains, to counter a tendency to reduction." Robert Parker 92 Points
"Sometimes you like a wine because you like the winemaker. Sometimes you like a wine because it’s simply a good wine, and you don’t know the winemaker; you might never meet the winemaker, and you don’t care, because the wine is that good. The best situation is when you like a wine because it’s damn good, then you meet the winemaker without a scintilla of expectation, and the winemaker is equally magnetic, expressive, and passionate as what you find in the glass.
The Collet name has always resonated with me as a benchmark of what classical wines taste and feel like, how Chardonnay from Chablis has its own shape and curve, and cannot be mistaken for Chardonnay from Puligny, to say nothing of Chardonnay from Sonoma. When most were just starting to learn about wine, Romain was beginning to work side-by-side with his father after completing his formal degree in enology at Beaune. The Collet family traces their wine roots back to 1792; it has never occurred to Romain to do anything else. The family has controlled an impressive suite of parcels in Chablis’ best sites: Les Clos, Valmur, Mont de Milieu, Montée de Tonnerre, Vaillons, Montmains, Butteaux, Forêts, Séchet, and the silent overachiever, Les Pargues. Romain has grown up with these vineyards; he is like a human compass for these vines. In 2008 Romain took over winemaking for Domaine Collet after his father suffered a stroke; one year later he started his own Domaine, Romain Collet. His inaugural vintage was 2009, and he was only 23.
With his own wines, he could experiment with natural yeasts in the cellar, and was immediately taken with the results, wines of complexity, of nuance and a seamless pop of tension. He is, he’d tell you, an adherent of harmony: If there’s one thing he hates, it is wines that feel disjointed, jumbled, broken.
Today, most of Romain’s parcels are certified organic by France’s Bureau Veritas; by the end of 2020 that figure will be 100%. Are these “natural” wines? Collet applies is a small addition of sulfur during fermentation and at the bottling stage, so no, not completely. Are these some of the most delicious wines? Hell Yeah!"
"Butteaux is considered one of Chablis’ greatest sites, recognized for its higher concentration of Kimmeridgian limestone that gives its wines a firm structure. Romain’s parcel was planted in 1972 (it has not been replanted) and is certified organic by the Bureau Veritas. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel and then the wine rests in older Burgundy barrels; total maturation is 16 months. Romain’s 2020 Butteaux is focused in it’s scents of dusty white and yellow florals with glimpses of shy citrus. Concentration and richness become apparent on the palate via a ripe but zesty core of fruit that is smooth, but dense in texture. There is a sense of fruit resting around a core of limestone depth. Butteaux is both generous and cerebral. Wrap your brain around that and you will know what delicious is."