2011 William Fèvre Chablis Champs Royaux
Retail price: approximately $23
Available at Mount Kisco Wines and Spirits
French Wines: L’Ecole Nouvelle de Chablis
Among French wines, Chablis is and always will be an undisputed classic. Celebrated and admired for its cool-climate austerity and distinctive flinty notes, it is a pure chardonnay experience. But what really brings out the cult followers of Chablis, who worship the stuff, are the 10-year-old grands crus that evolve dramatically in the bottle and, over time, show a rare elegance. Why do you think the Don Drapers of the world pilfered the name to market lesser New World white wines? The real thing sounds almost as good as it tastes.
More recently in Chablis, some modernist producers have begun to push the envelope by experimenting with oak treatment in ways that their forebearers wouldn’t have dreamed of. The new-school philosophy attempts to have it all: the best of young Chablis in terms of flavor profile, and the best of mature Chablis in terms of the wine’s texture and roundness, which historically only came to those willing to wait the requisite 10 years. The 2011 William Fèvre Chablis Champs Royaux is a stunning example of this more modern winemaker’s craft at play.
The Fèvre Chablis will impress the faithful with all its stony minerality and mouth-puckering green-apple acidity while also introducing a wow factor in its rich and softened mouthfeel. Instead of traveling with laser-like precision to the back of your palate, it is more of a mellow interaction between wine and drinker. The sensation is appealing, novel and not-at-all overdone. The 2011 William Fèvre offers us the chance to taste an authentic combination of old school and new school.
Enjoy it with various seafood dishes, especially shellfish or moules à la crème.
Editor’s note: Food and wine lovers heading to Paris might want to try one of the Girls’ Guide’s favorite cooking classes in Paris.