2016 Domaine William Fevre Chablis Bourgos Grand Cru

Year: 2016
Appellation: Chablis
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 90
Wine Advocate: 92-94
Vinous Media: 92-94
Burghound: 91-94
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.0%
Price :


"This austere white is bony yet intense, featuring mint, lemon, green tea and green apple flavors, with lemony acidity propelling the length on the finish. Drink now through 2025. 150 cases imported. -BS" (WS)

"The 2016 Chablis Grand Cru Bougros has a very attractive bouquet in the making: apple blossom, linden, wet limestone and touches of pear emerging from the glass, all with fine delineation. The palate is well balanced with fine acidity. It is taut and linear but there is fine depth here and a touch of salinity toward the finish that lingers in the mouth. Excellent.

Head winemaker Didier Séguier has steered this important Chablis producer, part of the Henriot group, since its acquisition in 1998. Previously he worked as assistant winemaker at Bouchard Père & Fils, so he already had experience under his belt, steering what was then a very oaky style of Chablis to one that was much more terroir driven and for want of a better word, just more "Chablis."

We focused mainly on the 2016s, with a smattering of 2015s that had been bottled since my visit last year. They suffered frost on 19, 25 and 27 April, when the temperature tumbled to -2.8° Celsius in some sectors. Around 30 hectares were completely destroyed, while vineyards such as Vaulorent, Montée de Tonnerre, Mont de Milieu and Montmains suffered around 50% damage. Then there was 240 millimeters of rain in May that caused wide mildew pressure from 8 June onward, especially in Les Preuses and Vaulorent.

Flowering took place on 20 June and then there were two periods of warm weather on 22/23 June and 8 to 10 July, when temperatures increased up to almost 40° Celsius. From 14 July to 1 September it was hot and dry, causing grillure (burning of the berries) in some of the more exposed vineyards. The warm and dry conditions would have threatened to halt the growing cycle of the vines, though fortunately 15 millimeters of rainfall on 15 September spurred things on toward maturity, so that the first bunches could be picked on 22 September in healthy, sanitary conditions.

Yields were generally weak: 18 hectoliters per hectare in Chablis, 15 to 25 hectoliters per hectare in premier crus affected by the frost and 35 to 40 hectoliters per hectare in the least affected vines. Generally, William Fevre's 2016s showed well, although with all the sturm und drang, it is no wonder that the Vaulorent did not live up to the quality of the superior 2015. The traumatic beginning of the 2016 growing season seemed to affect some vineyards more than others with Montée de Tonerre, for example, showing much better than Mont de Milieu. I would have liked just one or two of their array of grand crus to broach the 95 point mark, although their Bougros Côte de Bouguerots does come very close, the standout 2016 from William Fevre." (WA)

"(50% fermented in oak; from a yield of 35 hectoliters per hectare): Pale green-tinged yellow. Wonderfully expressive, pungent, classic Kimmeridgian nose offers scents of lime, grilled almond and iodiney minerality. Round, plush and seamless on the palate, with its juicy citrus fruit and ginger flavors lifted by minerality. This silky, sedate, rich wine has no corners and seems almost too easy and expressive today for grand cru. But it also has the stuffing and balance to age, and a finishing element of brown spices provides lift." (VM)

"A clearly ripe and smoky nose features notes of green fruit that possesses background nuances of iodine and seashell along with what I can only describe as fishing boat aromas. There is excellent mid-palate concentration to the big, very rich and concentrated flavors that display a round and suave mouth feel, all wrapped in a powerful and driving finish. This isn't elegant, indeed it's almost rustic but there is an impressive level of underlying material." (BH)
Winery Notes:
4,12 ha of 12,6 ha. Clay-rich topsoil on earth deeper than the Côte Bouguerots with a southwest exposure. A structured palate which is always very rich and creamy.

Characteristics of the appellation:
Rich bouquet with intense mineral notes.
Full and round, yet firm and massive on the palate.

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