Spotlight on White Burgundy: William Fevre Vaillons Chablis Premier Cru 2008
Premier Cru Chablis is one of the great white wine values of the world. It may not have the same level of depth, complexity and ageability as the wonderful Grand Crus, but it offers one of the most characterful expressions of Chardonnay in the world at its price point. In British Columbia, our inane regressive mark-up system means that the far higher quality Premier Crus tend to be only $10 more than the entry level and inconsistent “Chablis” wines, making the village bottlings some of the worst priced wines in the market.
A Wine of Vintage
Fevre is one of the top producers in Chablis, traditionally sitting only below Ravenau and V. Dauvissat in quality. The consistency of Fevre’s wines are certainly impressive.
As with any Chablis, this wine is highly reflective of vintage. 2008 was a mid-range vintage, being both cool enough to offer up a lot of freshness, but also long enough that the wines have more body and richness than a vintage like 2007.
The Vaillons vineyard faces southeast and lies near the village of Chablis. The vineyard has the reputation of being softer and more approachable young than other Chablis. For me, however, this particular Vaillon was extremely nervy, tight, loaded with acid but fully ripe. It is, truly, wine geek Chablis and not an entry-level wine for the novice.
While closed on the nose on initial opening, the wine expands over time with tons of lemon and granny smith apple and a little less minerality than expected. The tart, streaking acidity may off-put some at first, but this makes the wine truly wonderful with food. The wine is, accordingly, very mouth watering. Medium length. Great structure. While clearly lacking the distinction of Grand Cru, Fevre’s ‘08 Vaillon is nevertheless a tart, minerally wine destined to make acid-freak wine-geeks lust and also well suited for those who need something with their seafood and chicken dishes.
~$45 at Kits Wine