2011 Chablis Les Clos William Fevre

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Average critic rating : 94.0 points



As it was from cask last year this remains quite closed but aggressive swirling liberates ripe aromas of sea breeze, pear, lemon rind, oyster shell and mineral reduction plus an abundance of typical floral scents. The large-scaled flavors are overtly powerful and impressively concentrated as there is plenty of palate staining dry extract that also buffers the very firm acidity that supports and shapes the gorgeously precise finish. This explosively long effort possesses exquisite balance and the tightly wound flavors are going to need at least 5 to 7 years of bottle age to really flesh out and blossom. This is also a knock-out. Tasted: Oct 15, 2013. Drink: 2018+



The Fevre 2011 Les Clos represents another vivid contrast with a corresponding 2012. The intensity of attack and grip of the latter are replaced here by mineral and herbal complexity that sneak up on your nose and a palate notable for its delicacy, transparency and lift. True, you could say that this is looser than the 2012, but that’s a judgment relative to a rather extreme exemplar of the latter vintage. Harmonious ripeness of white peach and citrus is shot-through with saliva-inducing oyster liqueur, incorporating shimmering suggestions of things saline, alkaline, seaweed-like and stony. ||Didier Seguier and his team (consult previous Wine Advocate reports on Chablis for much more about their strikingly successful methods) began picking already on September 20, 2012 and, with allowance for two days break due to rain, finished on October 2. Yields, especially in the upper classificatory echelons, were low – typically between 28 and 35 hectoliters per hectare (though in one instance a mere 18!) depending on cru. “The wines,” says Seguier – who’s obviously very bullish on them – “are consequently ripe, concentrated, and plenty rich, with natural alcohol between 12.8-13.2% and acidity as ample as that of 2010. They have the same level of minerality as the 2010s, too, but are even a little more concentrated.” While the 2011 harvest here – which began already at the end of August – broke all but 2003’s record, Seguier was at pains to point out that this is virtually where the similarities between those two vintages end, and that indeed, it was 2012, not 2011, that brought extreme heat – though then only in mid-August. Most of the Fevre 2012s did not finish malo until May, which Seguier attributes to the musts’ low pHs, a feature he points to as an index of their relatively high – hence felicitous – ratio of tartaric to malic acids. The premier crus were set to be bottled through the autumn; the grand crus in December or January. Fevre is completing the process of converting its grand crus to a biodynamic viticultural regimen and will soon commence that transition on the Left Bank. (Based on quite consistent pricing in recent years, I have taken the liberty of inserting retail benchmarks based on other recent vintages, which also permits readers to see which Fevre bottlings are typically offered stateside.) Wine Advocate.August, 2013


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