Stephen & Ann Cameron hosted a Chablis Tasting on Friday 26 August at their home in Pick Hill, as a gift to the Harrogate Medical Wine Society to mark its 20th Birthday. The wines were from the 2005 vintage. The tasting was a great opportunity to compare the quality and aging potential of Premiers and Grands Crus of two renowned Chablis producers – Jean-Marc Brocard and William Favre. The tasting was followed by dinner at the Nags Head.
We started the evening with a glass of 2003 Champagne Roger Coulon Blanc de Noir. Six Chablis wines followed – Bordet 2005, Jean-Marc Brocard’s Premier Cru Fourchaumes, William Favre Premiers Crus Vaillons and Montmains, Grand Cru Bougros from Brocard and Favre.
I am now more than convinced that only the greatest Champenoise should have made a vintage cuvee in the hot and very difficult 2003. Lesser winemakers products without substantial reserve wines the big houses have and are able to draw from, have already crumbled.
Jean-Marc Brocard gives his lesser wines respectability by calling them Terroir Wines, but they are still unexciting Petit Chablis from soils rich in Late Tertiary Portlandian rather than Kimeridgian chalk. His Premier Cru and the Grand Cru have aged too fast and are already so forward that they are unlikely to reward long cellaring. The 2005 Premiers Crus should certainly be drunk now and the 2007s, soon. Favre wines, thanks mainly to Didier Seguier’s enlightened winemaking, but despite oak and higher prices, are so much more elegant and longer lasting and are well worth the extra. These wines are of great interest to the HMWS as both producers are visited during regular excursions to Chablis and some members have cellared considerable stocks of their wines. Our buying strategy may need to be reviewed with focus shifting to others in Chablis such as Jean-Marie Raveneau, Verget and Vincent Dauvissat during future visits. A comparative horizontal tasting would be fascinating.
- The fine wines of Chablis (ckenb.blogspot.com)