The 2016 Chablis Grand Cru Bougros has a very attractive bouquet in the making: apple blossom, linden, wet limestone and touches of pear emerging from the glass, all with fine delineation. The palate is well balanced with fine acidity. It is taut and linear but there is fine depth here and a touch of salinity toward the finish that lingers in the mouth. Excellent.
The 2016 Chablis Grand Cru Bougros Cote de Bouguerots has a very intense, quite mineral-driven bouquet with flint aromas developing all the time in the glass as it gains intensity.
The palate is well balanced with fine salinité on the entry. I appreciate the vivacity of this grand cru—there is plenty of energy locked in here and an edginess on the finish that is very appealing, notwithstanding the prolonged spicy aftertaste. Superb.
Chablis Grand Cru Bougros Cote Bouguerots Domaine William Fevre
Note: from two separate parcels of vines, the larger of which is in the heart of the 'amphitheater' from which the finest examples of Vaudesir originate
Producer note: Regisseur Didier Seguier describes the 2006 vintage as 'slightly better and more interesting than 2005. We had a relatively late bud break but with very good flowering with quite a bit millerandage (shot berries). The weather bounced around with poor conditions in May, hot weather in the second half of June, scorching temperatures in July, a so-so but wet August which was a good thing after the heat of the prior month and a warm and excellent September that completely dried up the incipient rot which August had begun to foster and accelerated the ripening process. Because we carry lower crop loads than many in Chablis and keep them well aerated, we had ripe grapes already by the 8th of September and consequently, we didn't wait for the ban de vendange (officially mandated harvest date) to be declared. We obtained permission to start on the 13th and picked quickly as sugars were climbing and acids declining. But it was absolutely necessary to be well organized and we hired over 250 pickers to ensure that we could have teams where they needed to be when they needed to be there. The entire 50 ha was picked in 9 days and we finished on the 22nd. The perfect harvest conditions made this possible and save for rain on the 15th where we lost a day, it really couldn't have been much better and we brought in superb raw materials. Yields were in the 25 to 50 hl/ha, which is normal for us and sugars ran between 12.5 and 13.5%, which is more than enough plus the acidities were also excellent with post-malo pHs of between 3.2 and 3.35, all with nary one trace of rot. Our vineyards are in the best shape that they have been in since we acquired the domaine and it really showed in a vintage like 2006. Both fermentations proceeded without incident with the alcoholics going very quickly, indeed faster than in 2005 and the malos were finished by the end of February. The fruit was clearly very ripe and thus we limited the contact with oak to preserve freshness and used, with the exception of a few barrels, no new oak at all. As to the wines, I believe they will ultimately be slightly better than our 2005s as there is a truly exceptional purity of aromas that are classic Chablis in character with ample minerality but with ripe flavors and good mid-palate fat which will make them attractive to consumers other than our traditional clients who love classically styled Chablis.' While I don't necessarily agree with Seguier that these '06s are better than the Fevre '05s, I will say that in each and every head to head comparison between 2005 and its 2006 counterpart, it's a horse race between them. I will also observe that neither vintage is better, when considered as a group than 2004, it's also true that there is not a big qualitative difference either. One other aspect bears mentioning and that is the Fevre '06s, because they were among the very first to be picked in all of Chablis, have more classic aromas of green fruit, oyster shell, quinine and iodine plus overt minerality than the large majority of other '06s that I tasted. Note: there is also a Fevre negociant operation but all of the wines reviewed here, with the exception of the Mont de Milieu and Grenouilles, are from domaine fruit. The negoce side of the house also issues the 7th grand cru, Blanchot, which it buys in as fruit and then controls the entire production process from that point. (Henriot, Inc., New York, NY; John E. Fells and Sons, UK).
Tasting note: Perhaps the freshest of any of these grand crus to this point, which is interesting as Vaudesir tends to always be one of the very ripest of the GCs given how the configuration of the vineyards collects heat. While the nose is certainly ripe, it is also airy and elegant with floral, spice and orchard fruit aromas complementing the quinine and citrus notes that can also be found on the powerful, muscular and borderline robust flavors that somehow manage to remain refined and deliver the considerable dry extract with grace on the explosive finish. This is generous on the mid-palate but it's almost breathtaking as to how fast the finish tightens up. Impressive.