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Simmonet-Febvre – 2013

DSC05866Tasted with Jean-Philippe Archambaud in Chirty-le-Fort, 7th January 2015.

Simonnet-Febvre
9 Avenue Oberwesel
89800 Chablis
Tel: +33 3 86 18 95 69
www.simonnet-febvre.com

Jean-Philippe on 2013…
“Much lower yields – we are buying a lot of grapes and must, but we still ended up with about 50% less. September was basically humid and hot so perfect for rot. But the wines are very pure and don’t have very round tastes.

“Bulk prices were a big problem, we saw historic highs. 2014 prices should be much more reasonable given the better volumes – let’s see. Had to increase the price of 13s so lost some volume.”

The wines…

All the wines here are a little austere, surprising given the ‘flatteur’ of the vintage. But no shame in that!!

2013 Chablis
A sweetness on the nose with an undertow of ripe fruit. A little richness, quite a lot of minerality and a good weight of flavour too. Grows a little in the finish too. Quite good.

2013 Chablis 1er Montmains
Nice depth and florality to the nose. Wider in perspective, still rather mineral and faintly floral. The flavour slowly grows in concentration. A very good finish. Quite a flinty flavour here.

2013 Chablis 1er Vaillons
All 1ers have 12 months on full lees in tank – no wood. This bottled in September.
Again there are flowers on the nose, but with more impact. Very mineral flavour again and quite long too. A rather direct and brusque style for now though not particularly powerful.

2013 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
Only 29 hl/ha – 50% down.
Wider and prettier aromatics – much more interesting than those before. Here is a nice palette of flavour with some sweet and complex fruit. Quite an interesting and tasty wine here. Yum!

2012 Chablis Les Clos
Only wine with a little wood – 40% barrel fermented and aged in 2, 3 and 4 year-old barrels from the Louis Latour tonnellerie. About 24 months of elevage here.
Wide and deep with more than just a hint of wood – but its well enough done. Fine in the mouth, lithe intense and with good energy too. Lots of flavour complexity here and holds a very good length. Super.

2013 Irancy
Maybe to be bottled next month. All hand-picked, no stems, and fermented in stainless-steel open tanks. About 18 days of fermentation and maceration. The wines fully made here only since 2012, before they bout already fermented juice.
Medium- plus colour. Faint flowers and not so faint clean, gellied dark fruit – lovely, maybe with a faint licorice too. Round in the mouth, a very faint padding and a growing but modest level of velvet tannin. The flavour profile is of floral, dark fruit with plenty of acidity but not too much. Not quite as gourmand and gorgeously (aromatically) fruited as the 12 (not yet, anyway…) but very tasty all the same. Yum!

In addition to the Chablis, the following interesting selection was offered to taste:

Here are three ‘IGP Côteaux de L’Auxois’ wines, from an estate bought about 18 months ago – about halfway to Beaune from here: There are 45 hectares of vines in this classification and S-F own 15 of them. This was a famous wine-producing region in the 1850s – once with over 5000 hectares – but wasn’t replanted after phylloxera. Manually harvested and made at about 50 hl/ha with only in tanks for elevage. Oh, and all these are trained in the Lyre configuration – just in case you wondered about the names!

Only screwcaps for this ‘Lyre’ range. Jean-Philippe was in Australia for 5 years 😉

2013 Esprit de Lyre – Auxerrois
Quite deep and just faintly musky. Really quite a savoury with good acidity. Okay…

2013 Saveurs de Lyre – Auxerrois & Chardonnay
60% auxerrois, chardonnay on the SE block. Marne and calcaire for the subsoil.
A nicer lift and extra sweetness to the nose. Rounder, still reasonably fresh, with a hint more sucrosity and interest. Much more interesting in the finish with more depth.

2013 Quintessence de Lyre – Chardonnay
South to south-west facing, aged 12 months on fine lees in tank.
Less open, less overt nose. Bright, quite fresh, a wine that slowly opens up on the palate and into the finish. Less extrovert than the blend wine, but quite tasty.

About £12-13 is target price for UK for all three.

2013 Saint Bris
Taken by Waitrose in the UK. Normally picked quite late here, with a full malo vs other styles where they are picked early and have no malo. Aged on lees in tank for 8 months.
Wide, a little floral and quite deep – really I find this much easier on the nose than its brother from 2012. Round, with decent intensity and with and understated sweetness. Again I find this almost agreeable – unlike my reaction to the 12. Quite good length of flavour. I could easily be caught drinking this vintage.

Cremant Brut P100
Blanc de Noir (Pinot 100%), dosage 5.5 grams all hand-picked.
Deep with roundness and sweetness. In the mouth, round and a little anonymous until the mid-palate where it widens and comes alive, taking on a lovely, faintly sweet florality – lovely, really lovely in the finish. Yum!

Cremant Brut S2008
70% pinot, with a dosage of 4.5g. Almost 48 months on lees. (Minimum is 36 months here.)
A wider nose of some sweetness and perhaps a very faint caramel. More complex, a very tasty wine. Clearly with a higher level of complexity.

2013 Bourgogne Chitry
Can be labelled as Bourgogne chardonnay for export markets, as Chitry not known outside France.
Bright in the glass, not so bright on the nose. Although this is well-balanced, has good acidity and weight, there’s a particular mineral character that’s not really to my taste until the mid-palate where it becomes more interesting.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?