Tasted blind in Zürich, 01 June 2015, with the crew of Vinifera-Mundi.
Our subject was ‘Chablis Grand Cru’. I’d brought an interesting older white for pre-tasting drinks, but somehow it was incorporated into the tasting as a ‘pirate’ – it wasn’t the only one.
Overall, I came away with a little disappointment due to some oxidised wines – certainly prematurely oxidised, but not necessarily a ‘premox’ phenomena – we have always had corks that fail…
Some very good wines, no great wines. Too many whiffs of sherry too…
2011 JM Brocard, Chablis 1er Vaudevey
A little reduction and seemingly oak to start – swirl (maybe three times) and it’s gone – probably only reduction. The flavour remains faintly reductive with agrumes but a fine focus and clarity. Slowly it starts to smell more like sauvignon blanc, it also tastes more like sauvignon blanc yet is nicely sweet, with good ligering notes, a little softness and no hard edges. I assume that this is a ‘pirate’ wine, maybe from Saint Bris, but no, it’s Chablis – but those pyrazines make it a dead-ringer for sauvignon blanc…
2010 Domaine Servin, Chablis 1er Butteaux
A little tight, but a core of silky ripe yellow fruit. Fine, mineral, sweetly mouth-watering – textbook Chablis. Lovely.
1982 Etienne Sauzet, Puligny-Montrachet
From the colour alone, this is clearly my ‘apero wine.’
Massive on the nose, wool, lanolin, old wine. Great shape! Mouth-filling, slightly creamy long and very tasty. Authentically old (sorry mature!) wine. Super.
2003 Vincent Dauvissat, Chablis Les Preusses
Wide, seemingly sweet, but overall a very tight nose. Big, silky, round – could certainly be Chablis, but from a ripe year – yet without much sweetness(?)
2006 William Fevre, Chablis Les Clos
Pretty, almost floral aromatic, fine width if no great impact. Wide, complex and with very good energy. A very good wine.
2006 Billaud-Simon, Chablis Les Clos
Deep, baked apple. The aromas are hovering towards oxidation but avoiding by the skin of its teeth. Nice shape in the mouth and very intense too. Here the flavour of baked apple is still quite strong and maybe crosses the line to modest oxidation. I like the shape and energy, but the flavour has no Chablis typicity at all.
2008 Domaine Laroche, Chablis Les Clos
Deep, ripe, herby nose. Wide mouth-watering flavour similar to the nose. Concentrated, indeed impressive, but not my favourite flavour profile – I often see this with 08s – yet, a really super finish.
2001 William Fevre, Chablis Les Clos
Not a great aroma – a little cheesy, slowly offering something a little better defined but seemingly always in the background, slowly a direct oxidised aroma. Big, mineral, long, just a little oxidation in the flavour too – but a really intense flavour in the mid-palate and the finish too. Shame…
2006 Jean Luc & Paul Aergerter, Chablis Vaudesir
A tiny reduction but this is a very attractive nose, despite a very faint undertow of oak. Mouth-filling, tasty wine, good energy and acidity. Only in the mid-palate and finish is this more mineral and Chablis-esque. A very tasty chardonnay today, but a good chance to develop into Chablis!
2009 Château Grenouilles, Chablis Grenouilles
Also a very nice nose – if completely different – a vibrant core of yellow fruit. Much silkier, less energetic but with an impressive intensity of flavour. Really an extra dimension of flavour in the mid-palate. Massive wine – I don’t love it as much as some of the others but it’s impressive stuff.
2013 Patrick Puize, Chablis Bougros
High-toned, creamy yellow fruit, with a floral aspect. Wide, some silky texture. a little gooseberry fruit – almost sharp acidity – but after the pain, the finish is very fine. Hmm, good parts. Returning, the acidity is not bad, though this wine doesn’t have the dimension of the others. Still, a very tasty glass.
2009 Long-Depaquit, Chablis Moutonne
Darker colour and deeper aromatic, tending towards oxidation. Big, round, a very nice shape but with a clearly oxidative character. Great finishing shape and length, once more a shame…
2005 Regnard, Chablis Vaudesir
Discreet but concentrated, ripe, tight fruit at the core – a faint saltiness too. Big, concentrated, full of energy and intensity. Big but with balance too, indeed quite a massive thing. The finishing flavour is tending to quite mature – there’s no oxidation yet, but I wouldn’t hang around waiting.
2010 Billaud-Simon, Chablis Vaudesir
A modest high-toned aromatic, nicely transparent in the middle even, if not very open. Fresher, more dynamic than the nose, really growing in intensity – less brutish than the last – really super, with a hint of salinity in the finish – and it’s a good finish too – not yet mature. Super!
2005 Regnard, Chablis Bougros
Wide, faintly salty aromas, though not particularly inviting. Here is a nice, really energetic palate, with some older oak notes(?) certainly some inference of maturity. Good, but I sense it’s on the way down already.
2006 Château Grenouilles, Chablis Grenouilles
Big, fresh fruity and oaky – the most forward nose of the night award. Lithe, concentrated but no fat, plenty oak flavour too. A good burst of flavour in the mid-palate and into the finish. Lots of oak but very, very tasty chardonnay.