(2020) A powerful and concentrated wine from Château de Vergisson, 30% of which was barrel aged, the remainder in stainless steel. The nose is compact but rich, cool orchard fruits, a hint of vanilla and a little trace of something floral, even exotic. In the mouth that concentration and intensity ramps up, a searing core of lemony acidity slices through the fatter, more ripe and opulent stone fruit flavours to give an overall clarity and power to the wine. £16.99 as part of a mixed six.
(2020) This is an outstanding Burgundy from a single vineyard on Pouilly-Fuissé's most famed terroir, the hill of Vergisson. Fermented and aged in oak, it is absolutely not a shrinking violet, a confident and bold white Burgundy with lashings of creamy, spicy oak, plenty of bold apricot and citrus fruit to balance, and yet an underlying streak of chalky, mineral freshness. In the mouth a great thrust of Seville orange and lemon gives a bittersweet tang, but the toast and creaminess of the oak and again that chalkiness of acidity extends the finish. Terrific.
(2020) Another delightful Premier Cru from Domaine Fourrey, this from the Côte de Léchet is in a creamier, more approachable style, less austere than some but that's far from saying it is at all Chablis, or anything other than an authentic, expressive wine. A touch of fig and apricot joins the salt-streaked apple on the nose, then the palate has that quite creamy, quite opulent character, stone fruits and pear, then the pin-point core of this wine; it's mineral and cool citrus acidity, quietly, efficiently extends the finish, giving this a lovely, tapering quality.
(2020) Sited next door to the most famous Grands Crus, Mont de Milieu is another prime 1er Cru site, and this beautifully ripe and expressive wine opens showing a touch of nuttiness, but much more juicy and creamy apple and stone fruit, just a background susggestion of salty, stony minerals. In the mouth it has Fourrey's hallmark style, which is fullness and supple fruit creaminess, but tensioned and etched by the terroir minerality. Juicy again, with citrus, but long and a delightful style showing both elegance and finesse and a bit of powerful intensity and structure.
(2020) Vaillons is often one of my favourite Premier Crus of Chablis, this coming from just two parcels of vines on the famous Kimmeridgian soils. It's a lovely style - relatively soft aromatically, with a certain succlence and ripeness to the fruit and just subtle flint and herbal notes. The underlying terroir minerality is there on the palate, super-fresh and riven with cleansing minerality, and yet that succulence is there again, the mid-palate acid core restraining a burgeoning fruit ripeness to lovely, long-finishing effect. £17.99 by the mixed six. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2018) I'm on record as saying that, at it's best, Chablis is the world's greatest expressions of the Chardonnay grape. This, from a top vintage and one of the best premier cru sites, is eloquent testament to that. Subtle, wet river stone minerality, taut apple notes and fleeting glimpses of summer meadows on the nose lead on to a firm and finely-etched, steely palate. There is fruit, and there is textural weight, but this is the antithesis of the 'golden' Chardonnay style: linear, lightly salty and strictly defined, it has a lemon-juice freshness disguising its concentration, its depth and complexity revealed slowly as the bottle goes down.
(2017) What a delightful white Burgundy this is, a mini-Chassagne from the highly respected Roux family, a beautifully pitched oak component adds nuttiness and cream to the flinty, stony mineral and citrus nose. In the mouth it has lovely definition, the acid framework cleaves through the richness and sweetness of the ripe Chardonnay fruit, but it's that flinty terrroir aspect and lick of salts that gives such class and such interest.
(2017) From the long-established négociant house of Chanson, this is an impressive Chablis, showing much more of the flint and minerality one might hope for on the nose compared to some Chablis at this price, and with an intensity to the palate, the fruit showing even a hint of tropical ripeness, but all constrained and restrained by its acidity, sharp lemony focus and sweeping acidity. Rather a good wine this from head winemaker Jean-Pierre Confuron, and the purchase of Chanson by the Bollinger family seems to be stepping up quality impressively.
(2017) What a superb wine this is from Gagnard, from an organic vineyard in the Hautes-Côtes de Beaune owned by grower Caroline Lestimé. Aged for 12 to 15 months in barrel, one-third new, there is obvious nutty, creamy oak overlaying the citrus and apple, with a nice sour, cabbage nuance that adds a complex, savoury note. The palate brims with zesty fruit, but that cashew and Brazil nut character is there, and a burst of refreshing, almost tangerine or lime acidity. A delightful white Burgundy.
(2016) Tasted just over a year ago, this wine really impressed: a Chablis Premier Cru with a touch of creamy oak to smooth the pristine Chablis apple and flint character. Now, the wine tastes just as sleek and refined, but that vivacious core of steely precision is even more evident, wrapped in a sheen of oatmeal but riveting in its freshness and vitality. A great price for a Premier Cru of this undoubted quality.
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