The Magic of Butteaux
2009 Raveneau Chablis
1er Cru Butteaux
"A dynamite bottle in the making." -John Gilman
What's there to say about Raveneau? He's a king of Chablis, plain and simple. Few growers are so meticulous, so consistent, and few make wines as profound...
As such, there's never enough Raveneau to go around.
I'd be surprised if the handful of cases being offered today don't sell out in a flash. That's the way things usually go with Raveneau.
When it comes to Butteaux, there's much to be said. Butteaux is home to Raveneau's oldest vines and there is, for sure, the tightly coiled and soil-imbued quality to the wine that drives its old vine origins home. In Raveneau's hands, the site becomes a gorgeous weave of chiseled minerality, stone fruits and citrus. Above all else, Butteaux is about being linear and mineral. It's high-tension Chablis.
For me, Butteaux is likely the most overlooked wine in Raveneau's line-up. It's sort of like baby Valmur. But Butteaux trades some of Valmur's complexity and palate presence for compact steeliness, finely etched detail and focused drive. It offers so much that I look for in Chablis - energy, intense minerality and precision.
To be honest, Butteaux was a site that I'm embarrassed to say I overlooked for a while. Then, a while back, I tasted Raveneau's 96 Butteaux and was blown away by its poise and its vivid terroir-inflected directness. Now, I'm excited every time I see a bottle placed on the table. Of all the Raveneau's 1er Crus, I feel like it drinks the best when young, say at 1-3 years, but doesn't suffer at all in the aging department - I recently had a killer bottle of 91 Butteaux.
Butteaux is a sub-parcel of the Montmains 1er Cru (like La Forêt), which looks back at the Grand Crus to the north and across the Serein River. It’s typically on a silkier, leaner and more elegant wavelength than the huge, chewy, muscle-flexing sites, like Les Clos or even Montée de Tonnere.
And in 2009, Butteaux really struts what makes this site so compelling. Raveneau produced a stunning collection of wines in 09. As in 02 and 05, Raveneau managed to capitalize on the ripeness and concentration of the vintage while maintaining the nervy backbone of classic Chablis.
Butteaux, in 2009, is about mineral power and ruthless cut. John Gilman captures the wine very well when he writes: "the 2009 Butteaux is a very, very minerally example of the vintage... the wine is deep, full-bodied and racy, with a rock solid core of fruit, racy acids and great length and grip on the very transparent finish."
In short, the 2009 Butteaux is very impressive. There's a feeling that the site's leanness has been fleshed out a bit and its signature has been actualized on a grander scale.
As I mentioned earlier, these bottles will likely be gone by the end of the day. Give us your maximum order and we'll allocate accordingly.
To order, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the store at (212) 980-9463.
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits
John Gilman: Like the Montmains, the 2009 Butteaux is a very, very minerally example of the vintage, but here that great minerality is tied to great mid-palate intensity from the oldest vines that the domaine owns. The bouquet is a stunning blend of apple, lemon, grapefruit, wet stones, a touch of hay and a nice esthery topnote of bee pollen. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and racy, with a rock solid core of fruit, racy acids and great length and grip on the very transparent finish. A dynamite bottle in the making.