With the 2018 en primeur campaign getting into full swing and having revisited the wines again over the last few weeks, it is clear the whites provide the greatest amount of unexpectedly consistent brilliance in their balance and freshness. Indeed, this is true of Chablis, which in 2018 also opened with an unusually warm and wet winter which was followed by an equally warm spring. Of the white wines of the vintage Allen Meadows, or Burghound says of the wines of William Fevre’s ‘they are among the best wines of the vintage.’ This is an opinion seconded by William Kelley of The Wine Advocate saying Fevre ‘deserve all the accolades they’ve received for achieving such consistent quality on such an important scale.’ In particular Fevre’s Grand Crus have been scored very highly, not only by William Kelley at The Wine Advocate but also by Burgundy oracle Allen Meadows, who has stamped each major Grand Cru with his approving “Don’t Miss!”. A triumph from a notoriously hard to please critic.
Indeed, the Grand Cru vineyard Les Clos reigns supreme in 2018, outstripping all others as well it might. William Fevre’s Domaine Chablis Grand Crus are often the best value Grand Crus in the whole of Burgundy selling under £500 per case of six – there aren’t many Grand Crus that fall into this very palatable price-band. This release, the 2018, is a magnificent year for the Domaine who have produced a series of utterly brilliant wines, the foremost being Le Clos. It has been awarded 93-95 points from Burghound who describes the wines as having, ‘an exceptionally firm acid spine on the powerful, punchy and beautifully complex finale.’ This score and fondness is reiterated by William Kelley of The Wine Advocate who describes it as having ‘aromas of waxy lemon rind, dried flowers and peaches preface the 2018 Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos, a full-bodied, ample and muscular wine that’s deep, powerful and reserved. While it’s early days to make a definitive judgement, it’s obviously very promising.’ Indeed, as can be seen from the table below, William Fevre’s Les Clos offers immense value compared to the other leading wines from this vineyard. Priced at £465 per case of six the value proposition is superb.
|Fevre Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru||2018||93-95||£465|
|Vincent Dauvissat Les Clos Grand Cru||2018||92-94||£1500*|
|Raveneau Les Clos Grand Cru||2018||92-95||£3800*|
|*Expected market prices|
Les Clos is planted on kimmeridgian soil located between Valmur and Blanchot to the east, with a southern exposure that lends itself to more powerful wines, with ripe flavours, boasting delightful stone fruits and powerful succulent orange peel and honey. Often more closed in youth, the wines power lends it to long-term ageing, wonderful finesse.
Since 1998, when William Fevre was purchased by the Champagne house Joseph Henriot, the Domaine has pushed the envelope of world class Chardonnay by making large investments in the winemaking. The new ownership led to the employment of Didier Seguier, previously of Bouchard Pere et Fils and a move away from the use of new oak. Today Fevre implement 70-80% oak from casks one year or older, thereby focusing on promoting their exceptional terroir and the character of truly great Chablis