Is oak aging suitable for Grand Cru Chablis?

Normally I prefer Chablis without oak treatment but I don’t have a lot of experience with Chablis at the Grand Cru level. Is it similar to Grand Cru white Burgundies that have the richness to integrate the oak?

Not really. They can integrate some oak but it pretty much ruins them.

No reason to ruin good Chablis with oak.

Can you guys give an example of GC Chablis that hasn’t seen any oak? I don’t know of any. Do you not like Raveneau, Dauvissat, Fevre, Moreau, or any number of other respected producers who age their GC’s in oak? only village-level for you?

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I should clarify: I know mostly old wood is used by some, but usually there is some influence of oak flavor in the GC wines. It integrates just fine, in my opinion, in most examples that I’ve had. The wines are still more about minerality and purity than some examples from farther south, but there’s some oak there and it makes sense.

To piggy back on what Doug said, is there any PC that doesn’t see oak?

To finish my line of thinking, I was having this conversation with someone yesterday…
Historically, Stainless steel is a relatively new invention, almost all Chablis has or was made by using oak, yes older, neutral barrels, but oak none the less.
So to answer the OP’s question, not only is oak suitable but it’s also the traditional way that Chablis has been made.

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Gilbert Picq Vosgros is all stainless steel tank.

Many of these see basically neutral oak, which doesn’t impart much oak influence, in terms of oak flavors, and isn’t what most people are referring to when they talk about “oak”. they may throw a new oak barrel in now and then because how else are you going to break in a new barrel when you’ve had to throw away one of your favorite old barrels? Those who do use new oak in much of any percentage do it to the detriment of the wine for the most part.

Interesting, how is it.
I basically stopped buying any White Burgundy (premox) so I haven’t bothered trying any producer after the 07’ vintage. This choice makes me really sad as I love the wines.

John I know it’s splitting hairs but the OP was pretty clear that she doesn’t like Chablis with oak treatment.

I think a more interesting question might be can most people separate neutral oak from stainless/enamel lined tank or cement?

Louis Michel uses all stainless, top to bottom, and the wines are fantastic. Reasonably priced, too.

Ah, the Caveat, very cool forgot about them. They have been using stainless for over 40 years.
They also use screw caps on many of their newer wines as well.

Raveneau and Dauvissat use oak in every vintage for their grand crus - one would think that answers the question about suitability, no? As to the “outliers”, while I find Michel wines to be decent QPR, I’ve yet to have one that made me say “Wow”.

Just to turn the question around a bit - Are there any truly great Chardonnay based wines (Chablis, Cote de Beaune or otherwise) that are raised entirely in tank?

In my experience all the best examples see some time in oak barrels.

I suspect the OP was referring to new oak, and new oak influence, rather neutral oak. The relative influences of new oak vs neutral oak (a bit of a vague term–how old is a neutral oak barrel?) vs all stainless would be an interesting discussion.

Bob–how much new oak do Dauvissat and Raveneau use for those wines?

Frederic Gueguen is one that doesn’t use oak for his Chablis. The question arose for me because I was reading about Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos that is aged in oak barrels and I wondered if that would integrate in time. Because of the premox issue, I usually drink white Burgundies and Chablis within six or seven years after harvest and worried that that might not be long enough to integrate the oak in a Chablis. I like the mineral, flinty quality of the wines. However, I haven’t had many Grand Cru Chablis and wondered if the oak becomes unobtrusive with time. Neutral oak barrels would of course be beneficial. It sounds like the better producers do use neutral oak where possible so that is encouraging.

Some of the better producers do. Fevre used to be notorious for their overoaked Chablis. They have dialed it back, but I believe they still use some % of “non-neutral” oak. Lost a number of bottles of Fevre to premox while waiting for the oak to integrate.

Close to none, as far as I remember from the cellars.

The OP question is poorly worded, as almost all GC Chablis sees oak (and many of them 100% oak). New oak is a different story, but I don’t remember a producer using new oak prominently, certainly not in this day and age when new oak seems to have fallen out of fashion.

All stainless steel is very much the exception for premier and grand cru, isn’t it? Isn’t the real issue old/neutral oak versus new oak?