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January 14, 2014

William Fevre – Les Clos and Les Preuses 2012

William Fevre

“Grand Cru Chablis remains a screaming bargain relative to most White Burgundies from the Cote D’Or” – Allen Meadows

In terms of price vs score ratio William Fevre’s leading plots, Les Preuses and Les Clos offer potentially the most attractive value compared to quality in the whole of Burgundy. In 2012 production is greatly reduced and the market has already taken all available allocations of Fevre’s Les Preuses and Les Clos and we are experiencing a shortage of allocations to be had in the market. We have secured to small parcels of Les Preuses and Les Clos that we can offer today.

In 2012 the leading critics are in unison in acclaiming Fevre’s Preuses and Clos as exceptional. Allen Meadows, Burghound, has already released his scores awarding both wines 93-96 points and one has to look to plots like Batard Montrachet to find equivalent scores, albeit at many times the price. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate scores place these Fevre’s leading plots at the same quality as Domaine Leflaive’s Chevalier Montrachet (average price £300 a bottle) and Etienne Sauzet Batard Montrachet (average £190 a bottle), while outscoring nearly all other producers, this makes the price staggeringly low.

Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2012
6x75cl – £310 IB

Burghound – 93-96
Wine Advocate – 94-95+
Antonio Galloni – 94-96

Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses 2012
6x75cl – £260 IB

Burghound – 93-96
Wine Advocate – 93-94
Antonio Galloni – 94-96

Les Clos vs. Preuses
Les Clos and Les Preuses are generally accepted as the two best Grand Cru plots in Chablis and it is instructive to provide a comparison. The two are noted for particular terroir characteristics and the flavours these impart, this stands true with the great Fevre. Les Clos is planted on kimmeridgian soil located between Valmur and Blanchot to the east, with a southern exposure that lends itself to more powerful wines, with ripe flavours, boasting delightful stone fruits and powerful succulent orange peel and honey. Often more closed in youth, the wines power lends it to long-term ageing, boasting wonderful power and finesse. Les Preuses is found on a slope that becomes increasingly elevated and the vines are planted again on kimmeridgian soil but with limestone bedrock and compacted layer of clay. The wines are rich, elegant, subtle and wonderfully balanced offering a wonderful juxtaposition to Les Clos. In 2012 Antonio Galloni views them in equal measure scoring both 94-96 points, both different but exceptional while Burghound proclaims both are ‘not to be missed!’

William Fevre, along with Raveneau is now widely considered the best producers of Grand Cru Chablis, although others, among Billaud-Simon and Dauvissat are also exceptional. Since 1998, when William Fevre was purchased by the Champagne house Joseph Henriot, the Domaine has pushed the envelope of world class chardonnay by making large investments in winemaking. The new ownership led to the employment of Didier Seguier, previously of Bouchard Pere et Fils and a move away from the use of new oak. Today Fevre implement 70-80% oak from casks one year or older, thereby focusing on promoting their exceptional terroir and the character of truly great Chablis.

Les Clos and Les Preuses from William Fevre have seen an increase in price of 66% and 58.3% respectively over the last five years and the market expects this trend to continue, based on the quality and relative value to other great white Burgundy. For £52 and £43 a bottle on release, Les Clos and Les Preuses offer unparalled value for white Burgundy and represent an opportunity to secure wines still massively undervalued by the market.

Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2012
Allen Meadows, Burghound 93-96 points
There is noticeable wood on the ripe and intensely floral nose that also reflects notes of pear, white peach and algae. This is an imposingly scaled wine with its broad and muscular mouth feel that exudes a seemingly endless reserve of minerality on the almost painfully intense finish that delivers flat out amazing length. This is a very powerful wine that is akin to sucking on rocks it is so mineral-inflected. Brilliant. Don’t Miss.

Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses 2012
Allen Meadows, Burghound 93-96 points
This is arguably the most elegant wine in the range with its ultra-pure aromas of quinine, oyster shell, mineral reduction and floral elements. There is a caressing, even seductive mouth feel to the beautifully well-delineated and concentrated medium-bodied flavors that possess an almost delicate quality before culminating in an almost startlingly explosive finish that just goes on and on. This bone dry effort is an exercise in harmony and grace, or otherwise expressed, a classic Preuses.

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