2014 William Fevre Chablis Vaudesir

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2014-william-fevre-chablis-vaudesir

Wine Critic Reviews for 2014 William Fevre Chablis Vaudesir

(Domaine William Fèvre Chablis - Vaudésir Grand Cru White) Here the wood is so subtle as to be all but invisible as it easily allows the riper and denser mix of both white and yellow orchard fruit, petrol, spice and sea breeze scents to shine. The ripeness exhibited by the nose continues onto the juicy, even succulent yet beautifully focused flavors that deliver superb complexity on the impressively lingering finale. This should age effortlessly and I would expect the minerality to develop even more with age. A 'wow' wine. (Drink starting 2024)

Burghound | 95 BH
(Chablis “Vaudésir”- Domaine William Fèvre) Out of the blocks, the 2014 Domaine Fèvre Vaudésir seems just a touch more accessible than the top couple of structured premier crus and the Bougros. The beautiful, zesty bouquet delivers scents of pear, fresh pineapple, lemon, beeswax, chalky soil tones, a touch of licorice and a topnote of spring flowers. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and a bit more tensile than the wide open nose suggest, with fine mid-palate depth, bright acids and really superb cut and grip on the long, vibrant finish. Another superb wine, which I may be underrating a tad, but I had to leave room for what was to follow! (Drink between 2017-2050)

John Gilman | 94+ JG
Pale, bright yellow. Rather early-picked aromas of lime zest, white pepper, crushed herbs and metallic minerality. Less complex than the last couple of 2014s but with excellent thrust to its slightly reduced flavors of lemon, spices and salty minerality. A touch vegetal but with lovely finesse of texture. Finishes quite long, but with a slight peppery edge. This rather taut, austere wine will merit a higher rating if it expands with bottle age.

Vinous Media | 91+ VM
The 2014 Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir was just missing the "edge" when I tasted it from vat last year. Now in bottle, it has quite a pungent, herbaceous bouquet with touches of smoke and dried herbs. The palate is balanced with a very austere opening and to be honest, just as I found last year, it seems to lack that nervosité and nascent energy that some of the other Grand Crus from William Fevre convey. It is pleasurable, but it does not quite match to the Chablis Bougros and others. Is this the weak link in the chain this year?

Robert Parker Neal Martin | 90 RP-NM

Wine Details on 2014 William Fevre Chablis Vaudesir

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Producer William Fevre: The northernmost wine growing district in Burgundy has a rich and elegant history. The climate is cooler, producing wines with more acidity and less fruity than the Chardonnay grapes grown in warmer climates. Here the steep, rocky slopes to the right and left of the river Serein has a unique terroir which encompasses the wines with intense minerality and great freshness. This is the birthplace of Chablis; often imitated, but never matched.

It is in Chablis where the wines of William Fevre have risen to fame and reputation. The first Domaine wine was produced in 1959 from a minute holding of only seven hectares. With incredible foresight, Fevre began the purchasing of top quality plots in the area and swelled his holdings to 78 hectares, 15.9 of which are Premier Cru, and 15.2 are Grand Cru. It is considered not only one of the largest domains in Chablis but also one that owns a significant proportion of the best climats.

Fevre sold the Domaine to Joseph Henriot in 1988, ushering in a new era. Didier Seguier, who previously worked at Bouchard Pere et Fils, was immediately installed as winemaker and a change in style was implemented. Seguier switched the emphasis on new oak to the use of aged wood in both fermentation and maturation. His intent was to express the qualities of Chablis’ Kimmeridgien soil and its terroir allowing the 100% Chardonnay to develop unique characteristics. The purpose was to express freshness, purity, elegance and minearlity, which is greatly recognized and celebrated today.

This enormous and outstanding Domaine produces around 48,000 cases per year. Nearly half the production is Premier and Grand Cru. The Grand Crus hail from Bougros, Bougros Cote Bouguerots, Le Clos, Le Preuses, Vaudesir, and Valmur. The Premier Cru, respectively have designations in nine prestigious plots as well. Each terroir is incomparable; however, cannot express itself on its own. Didier Seguier has become the artist using all his brushes to help transform this Chablis producer into an iconic Domaine. He has the great ability to extract the best qualities from the individual climats, resulting in superb concentration, minerality, and purity of flavor that can be enjoyed now or cellared for years to come.
Region Burgundy: Situated just west of the beautiful river Saone, the hills and valleys of Burgundy stand as they have stood since medieval times, and you can almost hear the cheerful chatter of vineyard workers from miles away. Indeed, France's identity in the world of wine would be incomplete without the inclusion of Burgundy and its many viticultural achievements. Every little sub-region of the area boasts a unique soil composition, which, when combined with the area's climate conditions, creates an incredibly diverse and appealing selection of fine wines.

Every new bottle is an adventure of its own, and a snapshot of its birthplace. You could spend years sampling great Burgundian wines, and you would still have a lot to learn, which is what makes the region so compelling for veterans and novice wine lovers alike. No matter what your taste in wines may be, there is a winery in Burgundy that could mesmerize your mind and make your senses scream with joy. And what better way to spend a comfy summer afternoon with your friends and family than with a classy bottle from some of the region's most reputable wineries? From the noble slopes of Cote d'Or to the flatlands near various settlements, let us help you on your journey as we explore Burgundy's most delicious and renowned wines.
Country France: Words fail us when trying to adequately portray France's place in the world of wine. It's downright impossible to imagine what wine would feel and taste like had it not been for France's many, many viticultural pioneers. Fine wine is the blood of France's vigorously beating heart, and it finds itself in many aspects of French culture. With a viticultural history that dates all the way back to the 6th century BC, France now enjoys its position as the most famous and reputable wine region on the planet. If you have a burning passion for masterfully crafted, mouth-watering, mind-expanding wines, then regular visits to France are probably already in your schedule, and for a good reason.
Type of Wine Burgundy White: No one can express the full potential of Chardonnay quite like the visionaries from Burgundy. With an almost entirely single-minded devotion to the noble varietal in question, they continue to push the boundaries of quality, to the joy of their many fans worldwide. Discover the nuances of every producer and come out changed forever.
Varietal Chardonnay: Chardonnay has carved its path towards the title “king of white grapes” in subtle yet striking fashion, playing instrumental roles throughout the course of history. It was the chosen grape variety which celebrated the inception of the very first Champagne house - Ruinart, which insists “Chardonnay is the golden thread that runs through the Ruinart taste. “ “Remember men, it’s not just France we’re fighting for, it’s Champagne,” Winston Churchill. The infamous and celebrated French author, Alexandre Dumas once declared a high quality chardonnay wine from Le Montrachet was one that is only appropriate to sip “on bended knees, with head bowed.” And of course, history was made once again when a bottle of 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay was awarded first prize in the famous tasting of the “1976 Judgement of Paris,” changing the world’s view on California Chardonnay, inspiring vintners and altering the landscape of California winemaking forever.

The origin of the Chardonnay grape can be traced back to the small village of Macon in the Burgundy appellation of France. The varietal, whose name means “a place of thistles” in Latin, is the offspring of Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc. Like most prominent grape varietals, the exact circumstances of its inception are unknown; however, it is interesting to note that Gouais Blanc originated in Germany. It is speculated that the ancient Romans, who successfully subdued the Germanic tribes in 6 AD, planted Gouais Blanc in French soil, unwittingly prompting the crossbreeding of the two varietals. If this is the case, the history of the Chardonnay grape goes back much further.

The Noble Chardonnay grape variety is most happy in the winegrowing appellation of Burgundy, its home and birth place. Burgundy’s grand Terroir of marl limestone soils and cool climate allows the Chardonnay grape to express itself to its full zenith. Interestingly, the varietal is extremely flexible and can adapt to a wide diversity of soils, allowing the terroir in which it grows to dictate the qualities of the grape and thus revealing a multitude of personalities. For instance, there are subtle yet distinguishing differences in terroir in the Burgundian villages of Puligny-Montrachet, Chablis, Meursault, Corton Charlemagne, Macon, etc. which are all fashioned in their own unique way. The difference in each Climat or Lieu-dit, such as Le Montrachet (Puligny-Montrachet) and Valmur (Chablis) can take one further down the proverbial “rabbit-hole” and into the wonderful, yet complex world of Burgundy wines. However, Burgundy is but one prime growing location for this tremendously adaptable grape variety.

The spread of Chardonnay would eventually take root in Champagne, where it excelled in the region’s cool climate and chalky, sub-soils. For top Champagne producers, it became the main ingredient in their high quality, high profile Blanc de Blancs. It would also begin to be blended with the two other acceptable varietals of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (red skinned grapes). The chardonnay grape is now planted in 10,000 of the 34,000 hectares of Champagne.

Chardonnay would find its way to California in the late 1800’s but would remain obscure for more than a century due to ignorance of the varietal and lack of knowledge on how to marry it with appropriate terroir. Things changed in the 1970’s when Chardonnay saw a resurgence world-wide, mostly due to the 1976 Judgement of Paris. The unthinkable happened when a bottle of 1973 Chateau Montelena bested some of Burgundy’s finest chardonnay offerings from Batard-Montrachet and Meursault. This event helped place California on the map, changing the face of California winemaking forever. It rejuvenated the cultivation of the Chardonnay grape variety, which saw an exponential growth world-wide.
Much like the climats of Burgundy which have their own unique terroir, Chardonnay’s adaptability has found a home in the diverse appellations, terroirs and climates of California. The cool climate locations produce crisp wines with Burgundian nuances, while warmer climates produce wines with opulent, ripe fruit reminiscent of pineapple, mango and papaya. Terroir also dictates the personality, steel and concrete tanks versus oak, and the list goes. From buttery, oak-infused heady wines to crisp, refreshing cool climate fashioned Chardonnays, the grape variety can be extremely modified. There are not enough letters in Microsoft Word to demonstrate all the different nuances, qualities, differences of terroir, climate and winemaking techniques that would encompass in full, the details of the Chardonnay grape.

The well-travelled grape varietal of Chardonnay has become the fascination of consumers around the world, becoming the most written about of all grapes. Today, it is planted in over 40 countries, amassing an impressive 211,000 hectares (500,000 acres) across the globe. From Burgundy to Champagne, Napa to Sonoma, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, Chardonnay graces vineyards around the world, captivating its audience with its multiple personalities. “So powerful is the ‘C-word’ on a wine label,” as the famed Jancis Robinson exclaimed. Since its discovery in Macon, this C-word has become a dominant force in the world of wine, changing history, winemaking and the understanding of winegrowing and its powerful attributes to a single varietal.

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