Tasted in Chablis with Didier Seguier, 22 January 2020.
Domaine William Fèvre
21, avenue Oberwesel
Tel: +33 3 98 98 98
More reports for Domaine William Fevre
Didier on 2019:
“A difficult spring with some worries of frost, but in the end not a lot of damage – the quality of the flowering was more important to the end volume and it’s probable that the cold had much to do with that. The first part of the summer was very hot, but August a bit less so, which helped to keep a certain freshness. We were certainly a little later in the vines than in 2018 but harvested very clean grapes. The volume is comparable to 2017 – about 20% down in Chablis but closer to 50% down in the crus – there’s not a lot. To talk about the wines is a bit early, but maybe a style like 2018 but it could be with more freshness.”
Didier on 2018:
“2018 – A vintage with one cold night in the spring – no damage. It started very well as there were no important storms, one or two grains of hail but really nothing. Dry, quite hot, volumes that ended up generous and like we haven’t seen for 15 years – 2004 wasn’t so far away but with superior degrees in 2018, modest acidity but perfect sanitary conditions. We’re organic and have generally quite an age for our vines – so there’s a certain brake on the volume already. I don’t think we’ve any dilute wines. We started harvesting on the 3rd September. A vintage that was relatively easy in the vines, we’re currently bottling 1er and grand crus in January, sometimes it’s finished in December, we’re just a little later this year.”
Chablis and Petit Chablis bottled in May-June. The crus Nov-January – just the last two in this tasting are not bottled – they will be done the week after I taste. Still very happy with DIAM, some tests under way on the Origine version. Talking of tests – probably ‘test’ isn’t a great choice of word, but all the right bank have been managed biodynamically since 2010 without certification – and have been organic since 2006. Fevre are now starting the same approach on the left bank wines in 2020.
Maison – the same contract since the 1980s! Bottled in April
Quite a modest nose but some pretty floral perfume soon starts to show itself. A floral, faintly minty width of fresh and tasty, refreshing flavour. Delicious and rather long, even a touch of salinity here!
2018 Petit Chablis
Bought grapes – there is no domaine PC. Also bottled end of April
Floral again, but a more airy style of perfume. More structural more mouth-watering. Tasty wine with a good structure and a very tasty finish. This is excellent! With a subtle citrus finish…
The rest, as usual, are all Domaine wines:
48 hectares of vines with an average age of 50 years – ‘more than most 1er crus’
That’s got a more vibrant nose, mineral and showing an energetic invitation. Mouth-filling, lovely structure, faintly saline, and beautiful citrus fruit in the middle and finishing flavours almost mandarin in the finish – almost zesty – fabulous! Bravo!
2018 Chablis 1er Beauroy
1.1 ha from three different parcels.
A little more depth, floral again. More impact, more depth and richness at the base of this flavour, a lick of barrel but only modest. Delicious wine.
2018 Chablis 1er Montmains
3.8 ha Butteaux, Forets, Montmains – about the same of each
Ooh – classy! There’s directly a fresh mineral width that winks at me. Cool fruit, classically Chablis, wide and slightly zesty. That’s super, more tension here than Beauroy – that’s simply excellent!
One of the earliest harvesting areas. First organic vineyard for Fevre in 2006. 3.5 hectares mainly ‘Vaillons’
Ooh! That’s good, some sunshine citrus in great flavour here – very complex and very inviting. Super width of fresh minerality, plenty of salinity – growing in volume after you swallow – that’s picture-perfect 2018 Chablis – bravo!
2018 Chablis 1er Les Lys
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. It’s 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. ‘Naturally these vines don’t produce much, only 40 hl/ha in 2018 – there’s a lot of court noué here, hence the low yields of small grapes.
It’s an agrume nose but rather compact to start. Vibrant, mineral again, melting with fine citrus and again a little salinity. The zesty citrus finish bringing extra interest – a little finishing tannin – that’s excellent, perhaps even better!
2018 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
0.55 ha. ‘We’ve had these vines 7-8 years now and we are starting to see what we want from the wines.’ ‘Only’ 50 hl/ha in 2018
Classy – not the biggest but very classy aroma – a fine invitation. Fuller, mouth-filling wine, saline, complex agrume, a different style of complexity, vibrant finishing. A wine that has everything without shouting. That’s excellent.
Bottled just before the Christmas holiday. Will already be on the Market in February. 2.24 ha, from Pied d’Aloup (25%), Chapelots (50%) and Bréchain (25%), this latter parcel with vines from 1936. ‘Always a paler colour to all the other wines.’
The nose again, not full power. Wow in the mouth – so broad and mineral, no austerity but plenty of acidity, ultra-complex with super intensity in the finishing flavours again with a faint finishing tannin – that’s easily great!
3.6 ha one of biggest owners. Much marne and Kimmerigian – ‘the first for depth the second for tension.’
Another nose that’s a little tight – presumably the recent bottling. More depth to the flavour – this is always a small grand cru – supple, mineral, tension but still with extra richness. Lots of fine finishing complexity – that’s über-delicious. It still needs to freshen for ‘great’ but I think there’s more than enough potential for that! Bravo!
2018 Chablis Bougros
“The improvement here is a big satisfaction – it’s a completely different wine to 20 years ago. It’s a generous terroir with some deep soils and plenty of yield. Organic since 2006 and we’ve worked hard to limit the yield and there’s now a balance here that we didn’t have before. There are no well-known producers here so historically it hasn’t had a high regard in general, but we can see now that it’s not an accidental grand cru – I’m very happy.” Biodynamic practice in GCs since 2010. On the plateau part.
Also a smaller nose but with lovely clarity – that’s a beauty. Richness but an overtly mineral width also. Ooh, that stains the palate with beautifully, mouth-watering flavour – I’d like a little more energy but have no critique of the delicious flavour. Simply super…
1.20 ha in 3 parcels on a steep slope.
Ooh – more vibration of ultra-inviting mineral aroma her – yes! Also more crystalline freshness – airy, fabulous, flavour – open – like an airy Vaillons but broader in the base. This is top – no question – bravo!
From the summit of Valmur. 1.10 ha, like the last, only bottled last week.
Again a more open and complex nose, of clarity – super inviting. A touch of gas but also a generally fuller impression in the mouth – clarity of flavour, of minerality, a richness but less overt to start, concentrated, layered, long – great finishing in a more contemplative style. Grand Vin!
2018 Chablis La Côte de Bougerots
Second year in a row, this ‘demoted’ in favour of their Preuses. Two parcels on the steep hillside next to the road and river – 2.80 ha and they have replanted 0.4 ha.
What a great nose – full of agrume complexity, mineral at the base. Vibrant, a little floral this is concentrated but with the energy to balance, a simply great finish, melting concentrated deliciousness over the palate. Rich finishing but I forgive that as it’s so delicious – excellent wine!
2 parcels, one of 1 ha the other of 1.2 ha. ‘We rarely have austerity in Preuses.’ Tank sample for bottling next week
Super depth of mineral aroma – that’s great! A touch of gas but also a wall of pure minerality – textural, intense finish, no loss of energy, mouth-watering grand vin.
4.10 ha, principally the higher section but some lower towards Grenouilles – mainly planted before 1950 by that father of Willaim Fevre. Always the only wine in this – or pretty much any line-up of great Chablis that makes me think – Chevalier-Montrachet!
Hmm – directly a different level of aroma – how do they do that? In the mouth too – vibrant, agrume, depth of minerality, the return of the salinity. Grand, grand vin!