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say goodbye to william fèvre

I had always assumed that William Fèvre, of the eponymous grand domaine in Chablis, was somebody who was long lost to this world – but I was wrong.

William was born in 1929 and only departed this world two weeks ago. He established his, I would say, emblematic Chablis domaine in 1959, and with only 7 hectares of family vines. Given the ravages of frost, this was a hard time for Chablis, but a good time to accumulate vineyard land, such that when William sold his domaine to the Champagne house of Henriot in 1998, it had grown to 64 hectares, including 15 hectares of grand cru. Today, still under Henriot, the domaine now stands at 78 hectares plus the equivalent of many more from purchased grapes

The Fèvres have, for hundreds of years, worked the vines of Chablis, predominantly from their base in Fontenay-Près-Chablis, and it remains a large, extended family, including independent producers such as of Nathalie et Gilles Fèvre.

Goodbye William Fèvre…

Chablis yesterday:

2005 camille giroud volnay taillepieds

Camille Giroud Volnay Taillepieds

I remember an apology (many years ago) ‘we only had labels from 2006 left‘ – no problem – it’s the wine that counts – eh?

2005 Camille Giroud, Volnay 1er Taillepieds
The cork broke into two – but had, otherwise, done a good job.
Plenty of (only modestly aged) colour. The nose is big, frank, and inviting – there’s a super depth of concentrated red fruit, topped with floral notes and a subtle anecdote of barrel. Like the nose, the flavour is just so concentrated but with acid-led energy too – fine texture but no fat. Long, direct and highly impressive. Open, but still very youthful. Half of this made it through to day two, and here the concentration and impressive balance remained, but overall the performance was tighter, still direct, but no-longer floral. Potentially great wine – but only if I can keep my hands off my last 2 bottles!
Rebuy – Yes

Latest Burgundy Reports



The May 2019 issue of Burgundy-Report

Celebrating 140 years of Domaine Albert Grivault of Meursault
It's not every day you get an invitation like this:
Albert Grivault – Clos des Perrières 2017-1928

New domaines from Beaujolais
Domaines I've wanted to visit after blind-tasting great wines from them:
Profile: Les Capreoles
Profile: Nicole Chanrion
Profile: Gilles Copéret
Profile: Gilles Paris
Profile: Robert Perroud
Profile: Château des Ravatys

Simply great Mâcon
Jules Desjourneys plus the wines of Jean-Marc Guffens:
Profile: Verget – Guffens-Heynen
Jules Desjourneys – 2016

Château Thivin's Clos Rochebonne
A visit to their outpost in the Pierre Dorées:
Château Thivin’s Clos Rochebonne

A new name in Beaune
Tasting with Charly Fatien of Domaine-Maison Fatien:
Profile: Maison Fatien

Old names, visited:
Château Pommard – 2016
Jean Loron – 2017

2017s Tasted Blind
I thought a number of red villages outperformed the average in 2017 – here are some, tasted blind:
2017 Maranges
2017 Santenay
2017 Marsannay
2017 Fixin


Clos des Grands Vignes

The April 2019 issue of Burgundy-Report

Marsannay – 2017s
Marsannay is one of the strongest sectors of the Côte d'Or in 2017, so here are a few domaines for you to compare:
Profile: Bart
Château de Marsannay – 2017
Collotte – 2017
Fougeray de Beauclair – 2017
Jean Fournier – 2017
Huguenot Père et Fils – 2017
Sylvain Pataille – 2017

Psst – want some Echézeaux?
My second-favourite area for above-average wines in 2017 – here are 28 of them for you:
Echézeaux – 2017

Already 2018?
Don't worry – I tasted 2017s too – but 2018 is an early vintage with fast fermentations, these wines already taste like they normally would in July!
Bruno Clair – 2018 + 2017
Cécile Tremblay – 2018 + 2017

Mainly Beaujolais!
Short profiles of 10 new domaines from Beaujolais and Mâconnais, plus many magnums of Beaujolais tasted at the BBB!
Mainly Beaujolais – new names & many magnums

A mix of new and old names, visited:
Dufouleur Frères – 2017
Jean-Noël Gagnard – 2017
Antonin Guyon – 2017
Laurent Ponsot – 2017
Jean Tardy – 2017
Vougeraie – 2017
Profile: Catherine et Claude Maréchal
Profile: Joannet

You still like to have something touchy?


The Finest Wines of Burgundy

A portable, hard-wearing guide to the Côte d’Or plus 90 producers of note and their best wines. Truth be told, there should have been 150 great producers – but not in the 320 pages that were prescribed.
It’s probably time to start working on a new one – eh?

Burgundy Report

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