2015 Domaine William Fevre Chablis Fourchaume 1er Cru 375 ml

Year: 2015
Appellation: Chablis
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 89
Wine Advocate: 90-92
Vinous Media: 90-92
Burghound: 90-92
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.0%
Price :
$24.95

LAST CALL, THIS IS IT!

"Aromas and flavors of elderflower, peach and melon are the highlights of this accessible white, which has good acidity for balance and a lingering finish. Drink now through 2020. 200 cases imported.–BS " (WS)

"The 2015 Chablis 1Er Cru Fourchaume comes from eight parcels on marn soils within the lieu-dit of Vaulorent. It has a delightful bouquet with scents of fresh pear, a hint of marzipan; it is sweet and charming while retaining Chablis-like austerity and poise. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity, well poised with a touch of salinity developing towards the harmonious finish. This is another excellent wine from William Fevre.

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)

"(from a crop level of 35 hectoliters per hectares; made in 40% oak, none new): Medium yellow. Aromas of honey, spices and smoke. Opulent and thick but with lovely tension and smoky minerality too. This extract-rich wine has the power, if not the finesse, of a grand cru. Really saturates the mouth on the very long, saline back end. William Fèvre also makes a négociant Fourchaume but I didn't taste it." (VM)

"A ripe and agreeably fresh nose offers up notes of pear, apple, white flower and discreet ocean breeze nuances. There is impressive size, weight and richness to the medium-bodied flavors that possess a highly seductive, even slightly oily mouth feel yet there is plenty of punch to keep the finish well-balanced." (BH)

Winery Notes
115 ha for the appellation (principle Premier Cru-right bank). It is the most famous of the Premiers Crus. Marl-rich topsoil, more or less deep depending on location of the vineyard, creates complex, rich wines, perfect for cellar maturation.