Tasted in Chablis with Didier Seguier, 13 January 2017.
Domaine William Fèvre
21, avenue Oberwesel
Tel: +33 3 98 98 98
Didier on 2016:
“2016 – it was hard. With frost, hail, mildew we have ended up with one-third of a normal harvest – and its same for our négoce side. It’s clear, you make more money at the moment selling in bulk, though for the 15s that are not yet bottled, the bulk price is a little lower than that for the 2016s, but really only about 10% difference.”
Didier on 2015:
“2015 – hail in Montmains, Montée de Tonnerre and Les Clos, the two 1ers saw the worst yields, where we only harvested about 50% of normal. We started our harvest on the 3rd of September – earlier than initially planned, but we were ready – the maturity was there. Luckily, directly after the hail it had dropped from 25° to less than 15 degrees, which kept everything fresh and no problems over the next couple of days for harvesting. I wanted to keep the freshness and minerality – today we are really in the full flow of bottling of the premier crus and grand crus – we will be finished in about two weeks.
“I think it’s a complete vintage the mix of richness and structure. In terms of vintage comparisons, 2015 could be a fresher 2009 I think, it’s a better vintage than 2009, also its like 2006 in some ways but again with better freshness. I think that 2007 was quite an aggressive acidity when young but they are definitely rounder now.”
Magnificent wines in 2015 – only the Les Clos left me asking questions…
Bought grapes – there is no domaine PC.
Hmm, a nice depth and freshness of aroma – very faintly herbed. Good volume, hmm, this has super clarity and precision, a very nice freshness too. Nothing hard or awkward. Very fine indeed – delicious PC – and for the label, the finish is formidable!
The rest are all Domaine wines:
48 hectares of vines with an average age of 45.
A little more aromatic power, but fresh and interesting too. Supple, more intense, more volume, but frankly great in the mouth – persistent, gourmand. Mineral. It’s simply (again) great for the label. A finishing wave of flavour to ride. Great, it needs a little time, but not too much!
2014 Chablis 1er Beauroy
Bottled before the Christmas holidays. 1.1 ha from three different parcels.
Here there’s some sweet oak spice on the nose but it opens with a very clean and precise citrus. Fuller, slowly growing in volume – really more mineral but nicely textured. For now there’s some oak flavour too. But wait a while – fine and saline finishing…
3.5 hectares in Butteaux, Forèts and Montmains.
A finer agrume nose here, perhaps a suggestion of oak too – but only at the limits. Ooh, that is beautiful in line and mouth-puckering freshness – yet enough sweetness of fruit to make a great foil. Very citrus and long – a great line for a great wine. Also just the last vestiges of oak, but surely transient. Great Montmains!
Also about 3.5 ha mainly from true Vaillons. An early ripening area that’s very sunny.
A super, clean, and vibrant nose. A little fuller, a little more clarity, indeed vibrant flavour too. Simply another absolutely delicious wine – a little more fat but frankly there is so much happening here, also a little saline finishing. Bravo!
Not many producers; 17 ha in total, here are 1 ha from 2 parcels from the top of appellation, N-NE facing so with freshness and acidity. Part of Vaillons but these vines are over the top of the hill so not the same exposure. Old vines with a small yield. Decided to separate since 1998, before was in the Vaillons.
A bright nose – more open above, a faint suggestion of barrel below. Really a big volume in the mouth, ripe fruit but a deftness and a softness of texture. The fruit is couched in oak notes today – but that is transient – a very fine citrus blend. Super wine, super textured wine. It will be great.
filtered this week, bottling next week only 13 hl/ha because of the hail. 0.55 ha.
More overtly oaky today but there’s fine aromatic volume here. Big volume, translucent flavour, bubbling complexity. Of-course plenty of oak too, but the fresh, complex, joyful flavour is striking. Bravo!
2.60 ha, all from Vaulorent – almost half here and half in the Vaulorent cuvée. It’s a selection by tasting with the best parts going into the Vaulorent. ‘Commercially important to keep the Fourchaume name as it is so well-known. Marne here that accents the fume.’
A simply brilliant agrume fruit nose – no aid from reduction here. Some gas, but wow, what brilliant fresh agrume fruit flavour. Much as I love the previous wines, this is my new favourite!
A little more than 2 ha, from Pierre Allume, Chapelots and Bréchain, this latter parcel with vines from 1936.
A little less overt than the last wine but super inviting agrume fruit and no obvious oak. Plenty of gas gain. More density, more power, beautiful line and growing intensity. Super-pure, invigoratingly gorgeous wine. Mineral, saline, more than one wave of finishing flavour. Simply great! A bigger wine I think, but I have a tiny, really tiny, preference for the last wine.
Bottled this week.
Fresh, open and of-course very pretty nose – couched in some barrel references today. Hmm, this is super-silky – fabulous texture, lots of growing, ingraining flavour. Wow what a great little peak of flavour in the finish too. Really long, gorgeous, gorgeous wine. Wait (maybe) 12 months for the oak to wave good-bye.
Also waiting to be bottled
A beautiful nose of vibrance and invitation. A little gas. Width, top to bottom freshness and growing intensity of complex new citrus notes, underpinned with a fine mineral base. Not too fat as grand crus can sometimes be when young, just a joyous ultra tasty wine. Bravo
2015 Chablis Vaudesir
1.20 ha in 3 parcels on a steep slope.
A quite wide nose, fresh and interesting – very nice rather than gorgeous. More mineral is style, but with very fine texture, and some riper fruit, yet it retains super line and intensity of flavour. Lip-smacking flavour in the finish, with really a hint of austerity – only vs the others. Super wine. Incredibly long again…
From the summit of Valmur.
A rounder nose – a little tighter, fresh but with a few barrel references. Gas. Here there is very fine and intense flavour, complex flavour. A little fat cut by the acidity. This is really serious stuff, indeed brilliant stuff but it’s for another day. Great wine in waiting… The massive finish just sits and sits – I will have to cut it off with the next wine!
2 parcels, one of 1 ha the other of 1.2 ha. Bottled.
A tighter wine more top to bottom aroma, suggesting a modest floral aspect. Volume, power, yet a mouth-watering clarity that shies from aggression, all is beautifully encapsulated here. Great complex, joyous flavour in the mid-palate, slowly mouth-watering into the finish. Great stuff – seemingly understated vs some here but great all the same.
Two parcels on the steep hillside next to the road and river. Bottled this week
Also a little tightness, but this nose is vibrant and complex all the same. Gorgeous on the palate – wide mineral, mouth-watering, adding a little salinity, brilliant intensity. You know what? I think this is my new favourite!
2015 Chablis Les Clos
Virtually all the holdings are at the top of the vineyard, planted by the father of William in the 1940s. Always the only wine in this – or pretty much any line-up of great Chablis that makes me think – Chevalier-Montrachet! But don’t take that as a slight dear Chablis! Also bottled this week.
The nose has just a little harder component – maybe it’s herb or sulfur but it’s wide and beautiful just below. Oh wow, this is just magnificent across the palate, a hint of oak but only a hint, gorgeously textured. That suggestion of sulfur again? I don’t know, but despite the distraction this is, simply a great wine…