As I sit here sipping a 1993 Diznoko 6 Puttanyos, Tokaji Aszu (owned by AXA these days ... same owner as Quinta do Noval for you Port heads) I am thinking over last night's Grand Cru Chablis tasting and this afternoon's extraordinary Chateauneuf du Pape luncheon.
I'll focus on the Chablis for now and get around to the CdP later on.
I brought a slightly older bottling and my tasting group mates brought different vineyard designated Chablis from William Fevre from 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 and to my surprise a bottle of 2006 too.
I love Chablis and there is only one greater expression of Chardonnay which I enjoy even more and that is top notch Meursault, which really does it for me. But I own lots of Chablis, all from 1996, 1997, 2000 and 2002. I am trying to let these age, but on occasion, I can't help myself. You might be surprised to know that from the USA, I only have about a case of Chardonnay, all from Hanzell, my favorite producer of Chardonnay (and Pinot Noir) in the USA, bar none.
I'll offer very brief impressions of the wines we had because I am not sure if the Port & Madeira folks could care less what I drink that is not fortified, unless it comes from the Douro or at least Portugal.
1999 Jean-Marc Brocard "Les Clos" Chablis, Grand Cru - fine minerality, a tinge of salinity and notes of tropical leaning to pineapple, very steely and with crisp acidity. 90 points.
2001 Wm. Fevre "Les Clos" Chablis, Grand Cru - Very enjoyable and the best mouthfeel of the night. Lemony, with oyster shells, minerals and an oily rich texture. Round and focused and surprisingly good for a 2001. 92 points.
2002 Wm. Fevre "Bougros" Chablis, Grand Cru - Slightly oxidized with a banana impression, but otherwise pleasant. Honey, vanilla and smooth on the palate with light acidity and a short finish. 82 points.
2004 Wm. Fevre "Bougros" Chablis, Grand Cru - My favorite Chablis of the tasting. Lime zest, white peach, minerals and citrusy. This took awhile to open up but when it did, it was really densely packed. Excellent acidity and this is one to cellar for the long haul. 93+ points.
2005 Wm. Fevre "Les Preuses" Chablis, Grand Cru - I am a big fan of the Les Preuses vineyard, although this particular bottle didn't excite me. Spicy, citrus peel and stone fruits. Soft and rich with a tart, slightly flabby presence that opened up to show more round and elegant qualities. I'd still have liked more acidity and the finish here was modest at best. 88 points.
2006 Wm. Fevre "Bougros" Cote de Bouguerots, Chablis, Grand Cru - There was a distinct Asian tea aroma, along with minerals and apricots. Excellent purity of Chardonnay character with lots of minerals and focused acidity here. This has really nice potential and showed great length and depth. 92 points.
We had two dessert wines, neither of which was very memorable, from Walla Walla came Three Rivers Winery "Bisquit Ridge Vineyard" Gewurztraminer and a 2003 Gehringer Brothers Riesling which was a lackluster Canadian Icewine.
Next ... CdP