Domaine William Fevre ChablisGrand Cru ' Vaudesir' Chardonnay France 2019
Regular price Sale price $134.99
Domaine William Fèvre
Chablis - Vaudésir
Grand Cru White 750 ml
Score: 93 Burghound
Tasted: Oct 10, 2021
Note: from two separate parcels of vines, the larger of which is in the heart of the "amphitheater" from which the finest examples of Vaudésir originate
Producer note: Régisseur Didier Séguier called 2020 "another hot and dry vintage though thankfully the winter was very wet, which certainly helped rebuild ground water reserves. The early spring though was filled with tension as we had 10 consecutive mornings with serious frost risk. In the end, we suffered surprisingly little damage though I confess to be very nervous. The flowering occurred between the 12th and the 25th of May, which is the earliest that I can ever remember in Chablis, and happily it passed well as there was relatively little shatter. The end of June saw some isolated hail damage in and around Courgis and Butteaux. July turned very hot, and it was sufficiently severe that we had some sunburned fruit losses. It was strange though in the fashion in which it happened as you could have one side of a bunch completely burned and the other was still green! It had been so dry up to that point that some sectors were displaying the signs of hydric stress though thankfully we had two storms where the first dropped between 20 and 60 mm of rain and the second between 40 and 70 mm, which is a lot of rain in two weeks! The rain did two important things: the first was to give the vines the drink they needed to complete the push to final ripening and second, it pumped some much-needed volume into what were beginning to look like desiccated or wilted fruit. Without the rain, I don't know how low yields would have been, but they would have been very low. We chose to begin picking on the 25th of August and brought in exceptionally clean fruit so we could pick quickly. Yields were all over the place with some as low as 35 hl/ha and others as high as 50 hl/ha. Potential alcohols were very reasonable at between 11.8 and 12.9%, which suits our desired wine style perfectly. Just as importantly, the post-malo pHs were very good at between 3.1 to 3.2 so the wines have good freshness and vibrancy. Another contributing factor to why they are so inviting is that the musts fermented out to extremely dry levels, which is to say between .5 and 1 gram of unfermentable sugars. As to the wines, the villages wines remind me quite a bit of the 2011s while the upper-level wines are more like a mix of 2010 and 2011." I was suitably impressed with the quality of the Fèvre 2020s and while they're not going to rival the other worldly 2014s, they are indisputably excellent. Séguier indicated that the Fèvre 2019s, revisited below, were bottled between February and March 2021 without cold stabilization and using the Diam brand composite cork. (Henriot, Inc., www.henriotinc.com, NY, USA; John E. Fells and Sons, www.fells.co.uk and Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com, both UK).
Tasting note: A riper and mildly exotic if very, very restrained nose is still appealingly elegant while offering equally good Chablis character. The pure, refined and almost painfully intense middle weight flavors are much fine if at the expense of power on the almost pungently mineral-driven finish that is shaped by grapefruit-tinged acidity. While in need of better depth, this bone-dry and chiseled effort should also age effortlessly while it develops it.