White, Ready, but will improve

2014 Chablis, Vaillons, 1er Cru, Domaine William Fèvre

2014 Chablis, Vaillons, 1er Cru, Domaine William Fèvre

White | Ready, but will improve | Domaine William Fevre, Chablis | Code: 34324 | 2014 | France > Burgundy > Cote Chalonnaise > Rully | Chardonnay | Medium Bodied, Dry | 13.0 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

WA

89-91 Points

WA - The 2014 Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons comes from 3.5 hectares located in the heart of Vaillons and it is where William Fevre's harvest always begins since it's one of the earliest maturing parcels. It has a leesy, well-defined nose with plenty of green apple and citrus fruit. The palate is more rounded in the mouth, especially compared to the Montmains, harmonious and I suspect it will be more approachable than many of Fevre's 14s. This is fine and should drink well over the next 5 to 7 years. 89-91 Points.
Neal Martin - eRobertParker.com #220 Aug 2015

The Producer

Domaine William Fevre, Chablis

Domaine William Fevre, Chablis

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.

The Grape

Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.

Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.

It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.

Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.

The Region

Rully

The commune and wine appellation of Rully in the north of the Côte Chalonnaise region produces both red and white wines but is better known for the latter. Typically Rully Blanc (100% Chardonnay , fermented and matured in oak barrels) is accessible relatively early in life but well made barrel fermented examples can age for up to five years. The commune is also famous as an excellent source of the sparking wine Crémant de Bourgogne.

The red wines are in classic Burgundian style (100% Pinot Noir), supple and accessible from a young age, and they tend to exhibit simple but enjoyable fruity notes with a delightful perfume. The whites tend to be more complex: vivacious and fresh, one can detect notes of apples, lemons and nuttiness. Both reds and whites are rather light-bodied, and are therefore more enjoyable within two to three years of bottling.

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