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Isabelle and Nathalie Oudin

Domaine Oudin

VigneronNathalie and Isabelle Oudin
LocationChichée (Yonne)
Size of Domaine9.5 ha
TerroirContinental climate. Clay-limestone on Kimmeridgian and Portlandian (late Jurassic) limestone bedrock. 200-300m altitude.
ViticulturePractising organic
View Domaine Oudin wines ↓

Sisters Nathalie and Isabelle Oudin’s domaine is one of the hidden gems of Chablis. Coming back in 2007 after studying oenology, the hardworking Nathalie was joined by her sister Isabelle in 2013.

Based in the village of Chichée, their vineyards are found on the right bank of the Serein river, just south of Chablis, with a south-western exposition that makes the most of the afternoon sun. The soils here are derived from Kimmeridgian and Portlandian limestone, with very little topsoil and a lot of stones. Viticulture has always been fanatical, using manure as fertiliser and eschewing the use of herbicides on all vineyards since 1985. They are prepared to take a risk with the quantity they produce to ensure quality, rather than reaching for easy chemical solutions, even though oidium and mildew are always a threat in such a northern location.

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While their parents planted low-yielding, high-quality clones in the eighties and nineties, Nathalie and Isabelle also inherited about 3ha of massal selected vines planted in the forties. The sisters have gone back to sélection massale, picking cuttings from their oldest parcels to increase genetic diversity among the vines. They prune short to obtain yields of about 45hh (compared to the 60hh permitted by the appellation) which adds density and depth to their wines. They’ve also switched to the Guyot poussard training method which respects the flow of sap in the vine and helps prevent the trunk disease Esca, a major problem (all over Europe) which is currently killing off about 5% of all vines in the region every year.

In the cellar, they aim to preserve the raw material’s high-quality and enhance terroir definition. Fermentation and ageing are done in stainless for all their cuvées as they find oak overbearing for the delicately framed wines of the region. Fermentation is conducted using wild yeasts and Nathalie likes keeping as much of the lees as possible to impart texture and limit the use of sulphur.

Their wines are some of the purest expressions of Chablis, chiselled and well-defined, they beautifully combine texture with minerality.

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Winter pruning
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Domaine Oudin Wines

Domaine Oudin

CHABLIS 2018
100% Chardonnay (12.5% alc.)

This is the main cuvée of the domaine from 7ha of vineyards spread over six well placed parcels with an average vine age of 25yo. Nathalie Oudin is not afraid to allow the wine good exposure to air during the malolactic fermentation. The wine has very precise citrus fruit, good texture and a saline quality suggestive of the limestone bedrock and feels very composed and at ease.

Domaine Oudin

CHABLIS 2017
Les Serres
100% Chardonnay (12.5% alc.)

This comes from a plateau of limestone above the village of Chichée, next to the 1er cru of Vaucoupins. Cuve aged, it is given an extended élevage on fine lees before bottling after 20 months. More in line with a good 1er cru, it displays an extraordinary depth of fruit, with quite a leesy complexity and good salinity with great length.

Domaine Oudin

CHABLIS 1ER CRU 2018
Vaucoupins
100% Chardonnay (13% alc.)

This comes from one of the best sited of the 1er Crus – on quite a steep southerly facing vineyard planted in fragmented Kimmeridgian limestone, there is literally no visible soil in the Oudin’s vineyard. It comes from 50yo vines, has a gunflint quality on the nose, then ripe citrus fruits with a marked salty, chalky flavour on the palate.

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