William Fevre ‘Fourchaume’ Premier Cru Chablis 2006
Chardonnay can be an easy grape for the wine newbie to love. It is rich, round, and often receives heavy oak treatment that can impart an opulence not common for many whites the uninitiated will likely have tasted. It’s too bad that this sort of oaky rich style is what most newer drinkers first get exposed to because, even though such wines, when made well, certainly have their place, it is the more subtle Chardonnays that, for me, represent the true greatness of the variety.
Perhaps this is why Chablis has come to represent for me what I love most in Chardonnay: beautiful rich fruit, length, density, all on top of minerals. There are, however, Chablis producers that are making modern oaky styles even though I think that is not what Chablis does best. Fevre is certainly one of these modernist producers, but they manage to keep their wines from going over the top, even if this particular premier cru didn’t step up as much as I thought it would given the exceptional vineyard and vintage.
The nose on this Fourchaume had lemon, mineral zest, nectarine and a little toast. The palate is where the oak came through: lemon curd, vanilla, custard. The wine has clean lines of tart lemon, tart orchard fruit, and some underlying notes of lime and stone. This has great acidity, as I’d expect of the vintage, and nice elegance and length on the finish. Really it’s a superbly made wine, it just goes a bit too far into oak territory for me and it loses distinctiveness as a result. Many, however, would like this.
$38 at BCLDB