Domaine Jean-Claude Bessin, Chablis


Jean-Claude and Evelyne started out in 1989 reworking their vineyard and renovating their estate, located in La Chapelle Vaupelteigne midway between Poinchy and Villy on D131. They aim at making classic, mineral-inflected Chablis with finesse and complexity reflecting the terroir of their holdings. Vineyard holdings include 5.3 ha of Chablis vieilles vignes (40-55 years old), 1.3 ha of PC Montmains planted in 1974, PC La Foret, 1.2 ha PC Fourchaume planted in 1959-1971, 1 ha PC Fourchaume La Pièce au Comte planted in 1934 and 2.1 ha GC Valmur situated between Vaudesir and Grenouilles. The vines in Valmur were planted in 1949-1975. Their vieilles vignes is a model of Chablis – une qualité assez rare en appellation Village, while La Fourchaume is more rich and exotic, a delicate wine with a mineral scent. Le Fourchaume La Pièce au Comte is rich and elegant with a long finish if oublier cinq ans en cave, Montmains is harder and more mineral, while La Forêt est crayeux et expressif. Finally, their GC Valmur typically is both luscious and fruity with ample minerality.

On our first visit to Domaine Bessin we were lucky to come across Becky Wasserman (see picture above), who had brought some American friends. Aunt Becky, a legend to wine freaks of Burgundy, which has been the home for Becky since 1968. We had the opportunity to share a common interest in finding new domains making excellent wine at a fair price. (

We enjoyed the common tasting and her precise language from which clichés and wine catch-phrases have been removed. The wines of Domaine Bessin speak for themselves – they are all highly recommendable. Our favorites include Chablis vieilles vignes, Fourchaume, Fourchaume La Piéce au Comte and GC Valmur.