Tasted in Fontenay-près-Chablis with Nathalie, Julie and Gilles Fèvre, 16 January 2017.
Domaine Nathalie et Gilles Fèvre
Route de Chablis
Tel: +33 3 86 18 94 47
Nathalie on 2016:
“It’s quite hard to find the good wood for pruning after both the hail and frost, but the pruning is going not too badly. We lost more than 2/3rds of a standard harvest – part of the cuverie wasnt even used. The fermentations have gone okay and the malos are under way.”
Nathalie on 2015:
“2015 was a little rushed due to the hail: It fell mainly in the next valley, but if it had arrived just one week earlier it would have been a catastrophe! Fortunately we were ready to harvest and the grapes were ripe. Overall it was a hot year, but we have good juice – it tastes good, but about 20-25% less quantity. Les Preuses was about 40hl/ha, Vaulorent 42, the rest more like 45. Malos are a natural process, so there was no intervention here.
“Certainly it was a very dry year, but for us, we’ve a much larger volume in (AOC) Chablis and these vines suffered less, high up on the hills, still we were lucky to have some useful rain the weekend of 8th August. It’s not an enormous yield, but the volume is okay – if we averaged this volume over 10 years we’d be quite happy!
“In terms of vintage comparisons, similar is 2012, but more so 2009 (Gilles).”
These were bottled in summer, but the domaine is selling only their 2014s at the moment though.
Really a great set of 2015s – nice to see that the 2014s are simply superb too!
Nice colour, just a shade of green. The nose is a little tight, but in the mouth this is fresh and wide – it plays over the palate very nicely. A little depth of texture but it’s not fat. Not the most acidity but more than enough to produce a delicious wine, indeed mouth-watering in the finish – fruity but delicious.
2015 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
From close to the border with Vaupulent.
A fresh nose of volume, fainter fruit and mineral – quite tight in terms of actual things to find. Beautifully textured, wide, growing, changing, a hint of citrus and salinity, a wine of power, but beautifully delivered. Delicious again…
Always a little later maturing compared to Fourchaume or Vaulorent, despite direct south-facing – ‘its a mystery!’ In the centre of the vineyard, so avoided the hail which just touched the Montée de Tonnerre side. 15% oak, none new a mix of barrels and 500 litres.
Also a nose that’s a little tight but there’s freshness and a faintly saline character. Fine volume, transparent, fresh, more overtly mineral but beautifully textured. Complex and very long indeed. Really an excellent finish, one that’s already totally delicious. Bravo!
2015 Chablis 1er Vaulorent
Again 15% oak, but a few new barrels too here.
Fresh, prettier – a more open nose with a fine core of minerality and attractive fresh fruit notes. Really a full-packed and fresh palate, volume but more line too – there’s a different style of drive here. Beautiful without being overt, fine complexity – more broad flavoured, but beautifully flavoured. I love the Mont de Milieu, but will still take this while waiting!
Currently selling the 2013.
Much more open, round, faintly couched in oak, but very nice yellow fruit too. Volume and weight but perfectly balanced so it’s not heavy. Wide, clean, complex and very tasty through the middle. Beautiful floral mid-palaTe complexity. This is a beauty. Really delicious already today! You will still have to wIt more than a year until its available though!
This nose is deep a little sweet, almost a suggestion of caramel, slowly becoming more mineral. Wide, fresh, subtly cushioned texture, pure, changing, yet delicate at the same time. Showing some power. Beautiful fading, fresh flavour. Great finish. Almost a perfect wine…
This nose needs a little coaxing, but it just gets deeper and deeper, beautiful soft-edged minerality – purity of aroma, no evident oak. Wide, joyous, growing volume, never too much, but gorgeously mouth-watering flavour. A little extra salinity and citrus acidity. Then the prettiest citrus finish. The 14s are as long as the 15s, if slightly lower intensity. Simply great.
2005 Chablis Les Preuses
Just a little more golden. The nose has a hint of cream, and a depth of aroma accented with more mature notes of ripe fruit. Round, really plenty of power, delivered with muscle, a hint of rigour in the finish, still a young wine from the perspective of structure. This is really still a baby wine – return in 5-10 years – but anyway finish this bottle!