The wines of the vintage - 2011 Raveneau Chablis Butteaux

Posted by Ian McFadden

Work of a Master
2011 Raveneau Chablis Butteaux
"The wines of the vintage" - Burghound

This bottle stopped me in my tracks.

Maybe I should have expected it. After all, this is Raveneau we're talking about, undisputed master of Chablis, and the bottle in question is one of his most sought after 1er Crus.

But even being aware of all this, when I tasted Raveneau's 1er Cru Butteaux not long ago, it was the first 2011 that really made me pause and say, Wow.

So while I'm always thrilled to offer out wines from the virtuoso that is Raveneau, it's with particular excitement that I offer out this 2011 1er Cru Butteaux today.

This is classic Raveneau. There is refined structure and deep-cut minerality. It is a serious wine, no doubt about it, but it is also at its heart immensely pleasurable to drink.

The silky, lissome Butteaux is the perfect bookend to the chewy muscularity of Montée de Tonnere. The latter's full-throttle minerality might garner more hype, but in our book, the two stand toe-to-toe. If Montée de Tonnere is the fat lady whom you're waiting to hear sing, Butteaux is the graceful dancer you can't take your eyes off of. And in 2011, Raveneau's is just that mesmerizing.

The way the intensity of 2011 interacts with the inherent elegance of Butteaux is pretty astounding. The wine harnesses the ripe fruit of the vintage and is able to translate this richness into a harmony that is taut, lively, absolutely radiant.

Burghound flat out declared that in 2011 Raveneau's were "the wines of the vintage."

It seems pointless to even warn you that these offers always sell out, and quickly. Quantities are always low, but in the past four to five vintages, demand has shot way up. And for good reason: These are quite simply some of the greatest white wines being made right now. We have a fairly sizable offering, as parcels of Raveneau go, but the same rules apply. Along with Dauvissat, Raveneau is the cornerstone of Chablis, and these wines don't stick around.

As usual, I'll ask you to give us your ideal order and we will do our best, but really what I want to say is: This is the White Burgundy to have in your cellar. You can bet I've got some in mine.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine and Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

Burghound: "An overtly expressive, even pungent nose displays a mix of citrus elements as well as notes of white flowers, mineral reduction, iodine and seaweed. There is excellent richness, even a creamy texture to the robust and muscular flavors that brim with a fine dry extract while culminating in a tension-filled, complex and mineral-driven finish that exhibits just a touch of youthful bitterness."