The first wine we tried is the only Burgundy where Sauvignon Blanc is used. A 2011 St. Bris, this white is round, with hints of chalk and white fruits and little grassiness. This is a perfect wine for those tired of sweet and over manipulated wines from New Zealand. The rest of Julien’s wines are from Chardonnay vineyards.
The second wine presented was the 2011 Bourgogne Kimmeridgien, a wine from just south of Chablis, where the soils of ancient seabeds impart a mineral, saline character to this medium bodied, clean white Burgundy. The third wine presented was a 2011 Petit Chablis, which is a sub appellation in Chablis. Here, the limestone soils produce a crisp, refreshing white that tends to be a bit fruitier that Chablis.
Next up was the 2011 Domaine Ste. Claire Chablis, a white from the village of Prehy. Here, the wine has the crunch of minerality that makes Chablis famous, with aromas and flavors of citrus. The wine is very clean and fresh, yet also round and savory. It sees no wood.
A big step up in volume are the two Premier Cru Chablis, the first a 2011 Vau de Vey. This very steep vineyard produces a remarkably mineral nose, with white flower aromas and a long finish. Here, the grapes are completely organic, and fermentation completely natural. A personal favorite. The second Premier Cru was the 2010 Valorent, a subsection of the great Fourchaume site. Almost grand cru weight here, this wine is richer, with a savory mouth feel, and a toasty-ness that is long and satisfying.
We finished up with a 2008 Bougros, the one Grand Cru of the night. Here, we taste Chablis in its full intensity; present are the chalk and saline flavors of the soil, aromas of white fruits, along with great extract, with a long finish that needs time to open up. As is tradition, this wine is reared in large old oak vats that add to the complexity of the fruit. All in all, it was a great evening, as we rediscover the greatness and value of the wines of Chablis and of Brocard!
Author: Ian Reilly