2015 Domaine William Fevre Chablis Bougros Cote de Bouguerots Grand Cru

Year: 2015
Appellation: Chablis
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 93
Wine Advocate: 93-95
Vinous Media: 92-95
Burghound: 91-94
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.0%
Price :

"Offers apple, lemon and stone flavors, backed by a firm structure. Lean and taut, yet balanced, persisting through the long finish. Best from 2019 through 2025.—B.S." (WS)

"The 2015 Chablis Grand Cru Bougros Cote de Bourgerots has an excellent bouquet, very well defined and perhaps demonstrating the most mineralité and tension of all William Fevre's 2015s. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity, quite saline in the mouth with fresh lime and green apple; it has fine tension and quite an intense finish that lingers long, thanks to the undercurrent of salinity. William Fevre's strongest player in 2015? Most probably.

My rendezvous with Didier Seguier, head winemaker at William Fevre, was at their tasting room in Chablis ville, opposite the Bistro de Grand Cru. As usual, we tasted through their comprehensive portfolio, first with the 2015s, of which all but the entry-level wines are still in tank on their lees and due for bottling next year. Then we broached the 2014s in bottle.

“Flowering passed well with just a little coulure in Premier and Grand Cru,” Didier explained. “There was a storm in the second week of August and we needed the rain as it had been hot since the beginning of June [in fact, there was hardly a drop in June or July, which resulted in some hydric stress]. Then there was the hailstorm on August 31 and we started the picking on September 3, commencing with three areas that had been impacted by the hail: Montmains, Les Clos and in Montée de Tonnerre. The alcohol levels came in between 12 degrees and 13.5 degrees.”

Some of the facts and figures on their 2015 vintage report make an interesting reading: a 75% drop in rainfall in June and July, with August 66% wetter than usual, but because of that hailstorm on August 13, there was 13% more sunshine hours than average--in particular during April, June and July. Didier actually compared the 2015 to the 2009 vintage when I asked if any came to mind, which is a fair comparison given the warmth of those two seasons, though the jury is out whether 2015 actually surpasses the 2009.

Didier’s use of barrel is always astute. Long gone are the days when William Fevre was known (infamous?) for its oaky Chablis; now they use oak barrels that are between three- and five-year-old, much more discrete and playing a supporting rather than main role. Fevre also presciently used alternative closures, a trend in the Chablis region. “Everything is bottled under DIAM, which we have been using since 2006. We have opened some of those bottles and they are still so fresh.” Tasting through the portfolio of William Fevre is a good litmus test of the vintage. since they boast such a deep array of Premier and Grand Crus, as well as very popular entry-level wines. There are stellar wines here from Bougros Côte de Bourgerot and Valmur, while others such as Vaudésir just seem to not click into top gear when compared with others.

As I anticipated, their 2015s seems rounded and more approachable than 2014--less nerve and race, although I adored the Mont de Milieu and Vaulorent this year. Some of the 2014s are very special, in particular a very impressive, mineral-driven Les Lys. While this is not the more well-known Premier Cru, here it is demonstrating exactly what it can do." (WA)

"Pale, bright yellow. Knockout nose combines white peach, white pepper, lime and menthol; nothing overripe about this despite the hot year and steep south-facing site. Very rich, peachy wine with noteworthy flavor purity and lovely integrated acidity. More about fruits than minerals but nonetheless sappy and precise, with a slowly building, very long finish. (A note of leesy reduction may be blocking the wine's minerality today.) This densely packed, lightly saline grand cru spreads out to coat the entire palate. The high quality of the William Fèvre 2015 grand crus is no doubt at least partly due to early harvesting." (VM)

"A reserved but ripe nose features white fruit and floral notes that are set off by deft touches of classic Chablis character and wood. There is both good richness and power to the concentrated, vibrant and mineral-driven medium plus weight flavors that also possess ample amounts of dry extract that confer a textured feel to the impressively intense and mouth coating finish." (BH)

Winery Notes
2,11 ha of 12,6 ha for the Bougros appellation. Very steep terrain (a gradiant of over 30 %) with a due south exposure at the foot of the hill, near the Serein River. Rather thin topsoil mixing clay and pebbles that holds back the vine s vigour and gives robust, dense wines with pleasant roundness.

Characteristics of the appellation:
Complex bouquet and dense, robust structure with pleasant roundness.

Food-wine matches:
Fish, shellfish and other seafood, grilled or in a cream sauce. Poultry and white meat, grilled or in a cream sauce.

Serving temperature:

Grape variety:
100% Chardonnay.