The other day, from a retailer’s sale selection, I could buy 4x Chablis Vaillons spanning the 2007-2010 vintages – so why not! Here are the first two (not an auspicious start!)…
2007 Domaine Servin, Chablis 1er Vaillons
The cork smelled fine, but what happened to the colour? – deep, almost amber. The nose hasn’t a hint of traditional ‘oxidation’ but it’s clearly there in another form; the colour and aroma are of cider, indeed not just the smell of apples, but bruised apples – there’s a little lanolin too, which you normally have to wait 15+ years for, not 5! Flavour-wise, again no sherry-style oxidation, but the bruised apple theme is a consistent one. The acidity is good and this is concentrated and silky – but clearly should have been drunk before its third birthday – probably!
Rebuy – No
What a difference a year makes – or was it the producer, or the DIAM seal, or none of the above…(?)
Interestingly, because of the cheesy reduction, I give this a bit of a Fourrier shake to see if it might help. I’d no impression of CO2 like I often get in reds, but there was much more hidden in here – interesting how we don’t perceive that – or maybe we’ve just become accustomed to it!
2008 William Fevre, Chablis 1er Vaillons
Medium lemon yellow colour. The nose really needs a bit of time to clean up as there’s a bit of reduction and something a bit cheesy – sulfites probably – but even from the start, a vigorous swirl released pretty, citrus fruit aroma. Half an hour later, the nose is much better, though the fruit is still a little cloying. In the mouth this is lithe, just a little silky and finely transparent – don’t let it warm though as it can get blousy. Overall, nicely incisive, but the weird aroma was also a component of the flavour. Clearly in better shape than the 2007, but not particularly more drinkable. Day 2, and this is a more interesting proposition – intensity, zing and hardly any element of that odd flavour or aroma – indeed, quite nice.
Rebuy – Maybe