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William Fèvre is one of Chablis’ greatest wine domaines, developed by the eponymous William Fèvre between 1957 and his retirement in 1998 when he sold to the Champagne House Joseph Henriot. William Fèvre began with just 7 hectares and had soon increased this to 48ha, planting widely in the best of the 1ers and grands crus where the vineyards had fallen by the wayside. However the Fèvre penchant for new oak was not to everybody’s taste. Since the Henriot purchase the wines are made by the talented Didier Séguier who had previously been with the Bouchard team in Beaune. The domaine wines include 12 hectares of premier cru vineyards and no less than 16 hectares of grand crus.The whole crop of their domaine wines, straight Chablis included, is harvested by hand, the grands crus in small ‘cagettes’, with a sorting table back at the winery to ensure the quality of the raw material. The 1er cru wines are vinified in 40-50% oak, the grands crus receiving 70-80%, but without using new wood – instead the domaine receives a plentiful supply of one year old barrels from Maison Bouchard, and the average age of wood in the cellars is 5 years old. The barrel and vat components are blended together after four to six months, for bottling before the end of the year. In 1991 he joined forces with the Chilean producer Victor Pino and Vina William Fèvre was established in the heart of the Maipo Valley just outside Santiago.
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The domaine began picking on 26th September, the first to do so in Chablis and ahead of many in the Côte d’Or. It was the right decision since with their low yields and well aerated bunches the grapes were ripe enough, harvesting conditions were good, and everything was picked before the horrible weather of 5th and 6th October. As a result these are wines of exceptional intensity and potential longevity.
Methusel. 1 x 600cl1cs
Bottle 6 x 75cl1cs
Bottle 12 x 75cl1cs
The domaine is now organic, though without certification, while biodynamic practices have been introduced to the vineyards on the right bank. There were two main choices in 2012 – pick early and make just a small amount of hugely concentrated wine with bracing acidity, or else wait for the rain which increased volumes but significantly decreased the acidity which Chablis ought to have. Didier Séguier chose the former option and the wines are brilliant in 2012.
Picking began on 20th September, earlier than many Cote d’Or estates, and most grapes were brought in quickly before the rain at the end of the week. It was necessary to sort the grapes by hand to remove botrytis from the later picked vineyards, but the resulting range is not only exceptionally powerful but also very pure. Yields are very substantially reduced here (where they are always low in any case) so prices have risen a little. Didier Séguier thinks that 2010 is a truly great Chablis vintage for the long term.
Bottle 6 x 75cl106cs
Bottle 6 x 75cl2cs
Bottle 6 x 75cl41cs
Bottle 6 x 75cl72cs