The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: William Fèvre and Christian Moreau

Posted on | April 18, 2016 | Written by Michael Adler | No Comments

Michael Adler 5.29.15Thanks to the likes of E&J Gallo and Carlo Rossi, Americans historically understood Chablis almost exclusively as cheap mass-produced jug wine, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Chablis is one of my favorite appellations for white Burgundy because of its zippy crispness, ultra-refreshing acidity, and beguiling mineral-driven complexity in the glass. And in addition to being incredibly food-friendly, it’s also often an incredible value, in part because of the way Chablis was historically marketed in the States. For those of you who enjoy a cleaner style of Chardonnay that’s less influenced by oak and more focused on minerality and bright citrus notes, I urge you to revisit Chablis and fall in love as I have.

When we talk about the absolute best that Chablis has to offer, there’s a small handful of elite estates that come to mind: Raveneau, Dauvissat, Christian Moreau and William Fevre. Today I want to focus on the latter two of these four powerhouse winemakers, Domaine Christian Moreau and Domaine William Fevre. Domaine Christian Moreau, is one of my top three producers of white wines in all of Burgundy, and that’s not an exaggeration. Moreau’s wines are so delicate yet powerful, so mind-bendingly complex and delicious, and they impress me greatly year in and year out for their precise and artful representations of both site and grape. The wines of Domaine Fevre are renowned for their laser-precise flavors, zippy acidity and immaculate detail. Classic in every way, Fevre uses oak judiciously and only in its top wines, and each and every Fevre bottling is a textbook example of its respective terroir.

William Fèvre Chablis 1er Cru Montmains 2013 (375 ml) $29.99

Fevre’s 2013’s are stunning from top to bottom, and considering how tricky the 2013 vintage was, the estate’s wines are even more impressive. Winemaker Didier Séguier feels that the 2013’s will provide incredible pleasure to both the purists as well as those looking for a little more approachability. The 2013 Chablis 1er Cru Montmains that I’m featuring today in 375ml half bottles is the perfect pour for a quiet weeknight when you want to enjoy a great glass of wine but don’t quite need a full bottle, and the price is just as tantalizing and approachable as the juice itself! Bright citrus and tart green apple fruits leap from the glass, supported by zesty minerals, a hint of salinity and bountiful mouth-watering acidity.

Christian Moreau Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2013 $109.99

Deriving from a walled vineyard plot at the bottom of the hill, closes to the village of Chablis, Christian Moreau’s Chablis 2013 Les Clos is a powerful, muscular Chardonnay that will benefit immensely from another 5+ years in the cellar. Les Clos is one of the only two wines Moreau produces that sees time in oak, but this is not an oaky wine in any way – the wood is there only to provide additional structure, depth and complexity, and plays only a very minor role in the wine’s flavor profile. This is an insanely complex and delicious Chardonnay and one that easily holds its weight against the great masters in Puligny, Meursault and Corton-Charlemagne. The domaine is currently transitioning between generations of the Moreau family, with father Christian passing the torch to his son Fabien, who has already demonstrated his unique talent and ability to make some of the world’s very best Chardonnay in Chablis.

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