(2022) The Chardonnay for this wine is selected from vines on clay-limestone soils at an average altitude of 280m. Fermentation in stainless steel is followed by 18 months in oak barrels and foudres. It's a wine of cool restraint, plenty of flinty character over citrus and rioe apple, smoke wreathing around the aromas. The palate has volume and texture, but that super cool and lean fruit and decisive acidity keeps this pin-sharp, some grippy phenolic and a little creamy barrel component adding tension and savoury detail.
(2022) Made from organic grapes, this is 100% chardonnay aged 10 months on fine lees in oak vats (70%), stainless steel (25%), and smaller barrels (5%). Fresh, pristine nose of white stone fruits, but firm and precise, a hint of lemon rind and slightly waxier character too. In the mouth bags of ripe fruit, with great zest and shimmering brightness of lemon and lime into a long, stony finish.
(2022) Low yields in this small biodynamic estate, the wine fermented in concrete tanks but kept on its lees until bottling in the spring. Definite leesy, nutty characters on the nose, but set against clear and very lightly honeyed lemon aromas. The palate is flooded with super-sweet and ripe fruit, again some more taut, apple and apple core dryness at the heart of this, but a riper fruit quality touching on the exotic flits across the mid-palate. Very nicely balanced and good length too, the fruit purity and saline note of acidity driving the finish.
(2022) You may not have come across the very small Premier Cru of Vau-Ligneau in the west of Chablis, this from 40-year-old Chablis vines on a family Domaine. It has seen some oak, that helping give a touch of depth to the colour, and just the gentlest nutty, almondy aspect on the nose. Otherwise, fruit is pristine and showing a little flintiness too. In the mouth it's a beautifully poised Chablis, hinting at nectarine ripeness on the mid-palate, but that's a fleeting moment as the sweep of juicy citrus etched with saline notes extends the finish.
(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.