Day 11, June 13: I left Nuits-St.-Georges early Tuesday morning for Chablis. There, I visited Wm. Fèvre. A domaine with one of the largest holdings in grands crus Chablis, it was purchased by Joseph Henriot in 1998.
A tour of the vineyards with estate manager Didier Seguier and managing director Stéphane Follin-Arbelet showed the exceptional situation of the Fèvre parcels. These holdings and Seguier’s management have brought this estate to the top rank of Chablis.
We tasted the range of wines from 2005, non-blind. A few had already been bottled and the rest were in tank, to be bottled between now and November. “2005 is a very good vintage in Chablis, very ripe and rich,” said Seguier. “The maturity wasn’t consistent though because the flowering occurred over 15 days, with couloure and millerandage.” Seguier harvested early, to prevent botrytis from spreading and to keep the freshness that is the style of the house.
It’s a solid range here in 2005, with the Montée de Tonnerre stepping up among the premiers crus, an electric white with a chalky flavor and fine persistence. The Fourchaume Vignoble de Vaulorent, from the best parcels just behind grand cru Les Preuses, showed more power, intensity and a pure mineral note.
From the grands crus, the Valmur, with more marl in the soil, was more angular, but revealed great power and mineral notes. Les Clos doesn’t disappoint either. It’s classic Chablis, exhibiting a flinty, smoky nose, with peach and a laser beam of mineral flavors. This is a house you can buy from with confidence in both the 2004 and 2005 vintages.
Peter Ventura — St. Helena — July 1, 2006 7:52pm ET
Bruce Sanderson — New York — July 10, 2006 2:16pm ET
Adam Batcheller — Southampton, NY — July 15, 2006 8:41pm ET
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