Chablis’s rock-star duo: Eleni and Edouard Vocoret
Author: Will Heslop
Sure, there aren’t many winemakers in Chablis you could mistake for a rock duo, but Edouard and Eleni Vocoret stand out not because of Edouard’s hair (think Robert Plant circa 1973) or Eleni’s lip piercing, but for the quality of their wines.
They met in New Zealand during the 2010 harvest, then moved to Chablis to take over 3.3 hectares belonging to Edouard’s family, owners of the large, well-regarded Domaine Vocoret & Fils. To begin with, Eleni also worked part-time for Vincent Dauvissat, who she and Edouard continue to regard as a mentor.
The Vocorets farm organically – although they haven’t yet sought certification – and, like Dauvissat, age their wines in used oak barrels. The majority of their holdings (which now amount to 5.5 hectares) are classified “only” as Chablis AOC, but are exceptionally well-sited: Boucheron, for example, is a parcel between the Premiers Crus of Montmains and Vaillons, while Pargues is adjacent to Montmains.
In the words of my colleague Adam Bruntlett, the Vocorets’ wines are characterised by “crackling energy and tension” – all the more so in 2017, a classic, terroir-driven vintage of the very highest quality. These are wines whose complexity and precision appeal to the head, while their energy appeals to your inner rock star.
Three to try
2017 Chablis, Boucheron, Domaine Eleni & Edouard Vocoret:This parcel is located between the Premiers Crus of Montmains and Vaillons, with a band of clay running through the vineyard. The nose is classy and refined, with crystalline orchard fruits and a hint of earthy, mineral reduction. The entry is voluminous and rich, but there is a real finesse behind, with minerality that builds from a discreet base to give a stinging finish. Excellent.
2017 Chablis, Les Pargues, Domaine Eleni & Edouard Vocoret: From an excellent spot between Montmains and Vosgros, on an identical slope to the Premiers Crus but which for some reason was omitted from the Premier Cru appellation, perhaps because the slope had not been replanted post-phylloxera when the map was being drawn up. Stricter and more linear than the Boucheron cuvée, this is saline, mineral and fine, with crackling energy and tension. Will require more time, and perhaps one for true Chablis purists.
2017 Chablis, Butteaux, 1er Cru, Domaine Eleni & Edouard Vocoret: The Vocorets have just a third of a hectare here, enough to make eight barrels in a good vintage. A real step up in concentration from the Vocorets’ excellent village wines, there is real complexity on the nose; lemon rind, oyster shell and iodine notes mix with touches of clay and green apple. The palate is sophisticated and layered, with a precise and understated power that carries the wine to a lingering, tangy finish.