Thursday, June 3, 2010
After a bit of back and forth about whether to do a quick rosé post or similarly quick Chablis post, either one sure to be lacking in analysis or well formed conclusions - given that 11:53pm on a school night is not the time for such posts - I have opted for the Chablis direction. After all, many of us recognize that most rosés still suck anyway, right? Pinot noir based rosé? Usually over-priced and boring. Refreshing, food friendly rosé wines based on French grenache, for crying out loud? Not a shot. Over-sulphured, fizzy, acidic txakoli rosés whose...wait a second, I actually do like over-sulphured, acidic txakoli rosé. Well, anyhow, you get the point. Let's talk Chablis.
2008 is, by all acounts, a vintage of the quarter century type of vintage in Chablis. I had heard as much from the usual combination of critics as well as other assorted wine hawkers; however, perhaps more importantly one of my colleagues said that it could well be the best Chablis vintage he has tasted in 32 years of tasting these wines. He has bought Burgundy for a good portion of that time, so I'm inclined to take his word for it. 2007 in the Rhone? No thanks. 2008 and 2009 in Bordeaux - non, merci. 2009 everywhere that made wine in Europe? We'll see. For now, though, if you enjoy high acid, mineral whites that should drink well for a long while, you'd be wise to invest a bit in 2008 Chablis. Don't feel like you need to go grand cru or particularly fancy, here, either. Then again, you might want to step aside from the likes of the 2008 William Fevre Champs Royaux, or some of the larger scale industrial producers out there, even whose premier and grand cru vineyards are typically lackluster.
For now I've got some 2008 Domaine Anne & Arnaud Goisot Chablis for cheap; we'll see how it is several years from now but I find it quite delicious right now: lean, citric, mineral as all hell and fun. If you're a fan of lower sulphur and comparably riper wines you may find this one to be less appealing than I do, but for $13.99 it's worth a try (full disclaimer: my employer imports this wine).
Also, I recently bought some 2008 Domaine Gerard Tremblay Fourchaume 1er Cru Chablis (another disclaimer: we DI this wine as well). Much more weight, and serious stone fruit and citric flavors here. Extract is higher, acid and mineral still terrific, and this one appears to have the stuffing to age well north of a decade. Only one way to find out, though. The wine is purchased, I'll get back to you in 2025. The vineyard was originally planted in 1951, using massale selections, the only way this domaine rolls with new plantings to this day.