Chablis 2004 Shootout...Raveneau, Dauvissat and Fevre...Top Vineyards

L2O - Chicago IL
Tasted Monday, July 30, 2012 by Burgundy Al with 601 views

Introduction

My Chicago-based Burgundy group, the Lieu-dit Cru, assembled for our long-planned Chablis shootout. The idea was to taste wine that Raveneau, Dauvissat and Fevre produce from the same vineyards, all from the 2004 vintage. All three of these top producers make Les Clos Grand Cru and Vaillons 1er. These would be served single blind. Then we would also have flights of Montee de Tonnerre, Forest and Preuses, with a bonus "mystery" bottle in each of those flights, because only 2 of the 3 producers make wine from those three vineyards. Great tasting, very educational.

Kudos to L2O for a sensational meal, one of the best I have had so far in 2012.

Flight 1 - Melon and Cucumber Canapes followed by Mussel Tart Amuse Bouche (1 Note)

  • NV Laherte Frères Champagne Les Clos 91 Points

    France, Champagne

    A fascinating field blend of both typical and non-typical Champagne varietals, this shows great green apple and lemon aromas, then the same on palate. Lean and mineral-driven from start-to-finish, this has great energy and nuance. I brought this as the Champagne for our Chablis dinner because of its "les Clos" name," but really enjoyed it far more than for just that novelty element.

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Flight 2 - Foie Gras Mousse, Truffle, Chicken Consommé, Gold Leaf (3 Notes)

  • 2004 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons 89 Points

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru

    Tasted single blind with Raveneau and Dauvissat 2004 Vaillons. Slightly floral. Simple aromas and flavors, mostly apple, some lemon. Good textures. At its peak now.

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  • 2004 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons 91 Points

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru

    Tasted single blind alongside Fevre and Raveneau 2004 Vaillons. Big, fat, ripe orchard fruit aromas. Similar on palate. Very good acidity and minerality really stand out on finish. Just entering its peak drinking window.

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  • 2004 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons 93 Points

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru

    Tasted single blind alongside Dauvissat and Fevre 2004 Vaillons. Clearly the superstar of this flight with incredible concentration on both nose and palate. Apple and lemon peel start-to-finish with huge density, giving it a slightly backward character. Great acidity, limestone and oyster shell really stand out on long finish. Much more integrated and balanced than I remember from when tried shortly after release. I'd expect this to continue to improve with more time in the cellar. One final glass was remaining for the 2nd day and was still great, just a little softer and less intense.

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Flight 3 - Dumpling, Loup de Mer, Black Truffle (3 Notes)

  • 2004 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos Flawed

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru

    Tasted single blind alongside Raveneau and Dauvissat 2004 les Clos. Sadly oxidized. First time I think I've had a bad bottle, and probably the 5th or 6th time I have had this (usually great) wine.

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  • 2004 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 96 Points

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru

    Tasted single blind alongside Fevre and Raveneau 2004 les Clos. Sensational in every way. Apple and pear to start, lemon and lemon zest from middle to finish. Also classic Chablis character with plenty of oyster shell and limestone. I think this was everybody's favorite wine tonight, slightly preferred for now over the sensational Raveneau les Clos.

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  • 2004 François Raveneau Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 95 Points

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru

    Tasted single blind alongside the Fevre and Dauvissat 2004 les Clos. Dense, ripe apple aromas, followed by apple and pear flavors. Concentrated fruit and extract on palate with a slightly backward character that dissipated with more air. Big spice on long, evolving finish.

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Flight 4 - Scallops & Chardonnay Emulsion (3 Notes)

Flight 5 - Rouget, Saffron, Lavender (3 Notes)

Flight 6 - Lobster, Royal Trumpet Mushroom, Potato, Clams, Hollandaise de Mer (3 Notes)

  • 2004 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis 1er Cru La Forest 90 Points

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru

    Tasted single blind alongside Raveneau 2003 and 2004 Forêt. Slightly floral start with plenty of green apple on nose and palate. Lean and precise, this is prototypically Chablis with great energy. I am very glad to have 17 more bottles in my cellar, thankfully bought at release.

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  • 2004 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Les Forêts 92 Points

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru

    Tasted single blind alongside Raveneau 2003 Forêt and Dauvissat 2004 Forest. Ripe green apple aromas. apple and pear on palate, hints of lemon on finish. Very powerful for its level, if served blind i could easily have thought it Grand Cru. Long and lean finish. Last glass was finished the next day and it was exactly the same as the prior day.

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  • 2003 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Les Forêts 91 Points

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru

    Tasted single blind alongside the Raveneau 2004 Forêt and Dauvissat 2004 Forest. This is an incredibly impressive 2003. Even though it showed slightly exotic fruit for Chablis, it still showed great balance, concentration and precision on a long finish.

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Closing

First, I have to put aside the bizarre showing of the Fevre wines, which I have previously found to be excellent in the 2004 vintage. That aside, we found 2004 Chablis to be drinking beautifully now. We also saw real consistency in each producers' style. Dauvissat's wine were incredibly classic, highlighting minerality and a lean apple/lemon profile. Raveneau's wines were also classic but slightly backward with incredible density, concentration and power.

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