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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Domaine Labet Chardonnay la Reine
94POINTS
17½/20

Domaine Labet Chardonnay la Reine 2016

Jura, FranceThe Labet family of Rotalier in the area south of Lons-le-Saunier, known as the Sud Revermont, have been making thoughtful wines for generations, but it was Alain Labet that elevated the estate to an icon of low-intervention and organic practices, and one that followed the Bourgogne tradition of topping up barrels. His eldest son, Julien, continued and expanded on the minimal intervention track, certifying the old-vine vineyards to organics (2010), and incorporating animals into their vineyard management program. Along with his siblings Charline (a trained oenologist), and Romain (a viticulturist), Julien is directing the next-gen of Labet wines. La Reine is 1947-planted old massale selected vines at 260m altitude, sloping north, and rooted deep into calcareous clay red soils. After a native ferment in barrique, this aged for 18 months in the same, with light battonage. This powerful wine is complete, with waves of gentle reduction, and pillows of downy lees interwoven with giant flake salts, green apple edginess, lemon pith, and ample riveting acidity balancing off its prominent structure, finishing with a saline rinse. Greyhound sleek and inherently memorable, this is drinking beautifully now, and will cellar. Wow.Tasted: 14 January 2020Tasted by: Treve RingProducer: Domaine LabetGrape: Chardonnay