William Fevre

William Fevre - Didier Seguir - WImbledon Wine Cellar

It is true that, when it comes to Burgundy’s winemakers, scale doesn’t often correlate with quality. More vineyards means that the obsessional attention to detail is needed to produce great wines is more thinly spread. Yet there are exceptions.

William Fèvre is both one of Chablis’ largest owners of vineyard land and one of its finest producers. Its Premier and Grand Cru wines consitently rank amongst the best in the region. Fèvre’s entry level wines offer some of the best combinations of quality and value available from Chablis. Fèvre owns multiple parcels of old vines, which translate into sinuous, textured, gastronomic wines, which can age effortlessly. They are always true to their terroir, with concentration, minerality and acidity that vary across vineyard to vineyard.

Chablis: vintage styles, 2022: 4.5/5: A very fine vintage for Chablis that combines the freshness of 2017/2021 with the warmth and ripeness of 2019/2020. Healthy grapes, plenty of acidity and attractive peach/pear fruit character – a fine vintage that balances generous ripeness with crisp citrus acidity and salinity. Will age well. Andy Howard, MW, Decanter Magazine

During the year the news came through that Domaine William Fèvre had been sold to Domaines Baron de Rothschild Lafite – not rejected by the Artemis Domaines group for any reasons of quality, but because M. Pinault only wants to keep vineyards which are fully owned, whereas the vines attached to the domaine are in fact mostly rented from members of the Fèvre family. In any case, Didier Seguier remains firmly in charge. He gave his usual masterful assessment of the 2022 vintage. 120mm of rain in June was the key, along with a few more showers in August to complete the ripening. No grilled grape problems. A couple of vineyards were picked on 29th August, but the main harvest started on 31st through to 8th September. Alcohol levels were mostly 12.8 to 13%, with slightly lower acidity, ph 3.25 to 3.35. Didier describes the wines as juicy not heavy, accessible but keepable. Much of the success of the domaine can be attributed to their viticulture. According to Didier, 350 man hours per hectare is the norm, their own average is 500-600 hours while the steep vines (Côte Bouguerots and bits of Valmur, Vaudésir and Preuses) which are ploughed manually using a winch can reach 1000 to 1200 man hours. The domaine will be certified organic from 2023. All wines ferment in steel, then the crus go to barrel after malolactic, being assembled between June and October, then back to tank until the next spring. One two and three year old barrels are brought in from Bouchard, to keep up to 8 or 10 years. Brilliant, powerful wines which today age extremely well. Jasper Morris, MW, Inside Burgundy

THE 2022 VINTAGE IN CHABLIS - A  long awaiting vintage (Report from domaine William Fevre)

Meteorological data

Temperatures: Winter was relatively mild and very dry. Temperatures plummeted between 2nd and 11th April due to a mass of cold air originating from the North. The Chablis vineyards suffered two nights of frost on 2nd–3rd April: with temperatures of -5.5°C at their coldest and a little snow, a great deal of damage was reported in the higher parts of the vineyards. And during the night of 3rd to 4th April: -8.5°C at its lowest, with drier weather. Temperatures rose from May onwards, and the dry weather continued, making for an exceptionally warm spring. Summer brought more of the same, with regular drought warnings. Heat waves hit on 18th, 19th and 20th June and on 3rd, 4th and 10th August, alternating with a few patches of rain.

Rainfall: Relatively dry resting period. Only 130 mm of rain was recorded between January and May. A thunderstorm struck on 23rd and 24th May bringing 20 to 30 mm of rain, as did the rainfall on 5th and 6th June. The heaviest rainfall was recorded in the second half of June. There were only isolated showers for the rest of the summer. Rain returned during the harvests, with 40 mm recorded over a week.

Sunshine: There was a relatively high level of sunshine until September when it became in line with seasonal.

Progression of the growth cycle in our vineyard: Following a relatively mild and very dry winter, bud burst started during the last week of March. Fortunately, at the end of March, just before the frosts, the vintage fell a few days behind the average for the last 20 years, and the vines were at the bud swelling stage. Counts revealed that bunches were emerging well despite the frost and cold. Growth accelerated, with seven to eight leaves unfurling by mid-May. The first flowers appeared in Les Preuses on 18th May. Full flowering was achieved at the end of May. Conditions were excellent, with little run-out or millerandage. Although the vines were behind in March, by now they were 10 days ahead of the average of the last 20 years. Grapes swelled very quickly, reaching the size of small peas around 6th June. Bunch closing occurred during the last week of June.

Harvests, vinification and ageing: Maturity inspections started on 16th August and some vines were already showing 12% ripeness. Following rainfall on 18th–19th August, ripeness accelerated, and these same vines reached 12.5-13%. The right bank (the Côte des Grands Crus) was significantly ahead of the left bank. In some areas, harvesting started on 29th August with a smaller crew. On 31st August, harvesting officially began with all the teams. In perfect health, the grapes had thick skins and were fleshy, yielding generous amounts of juice (145 kg/hl). Alcoholic fermentations were fairly swift (10 to 15 days) and malolactic fermentations were completed by early January.

The wines now: These are very pleasant wines, with a surprisingly refreshing character. They are extremely refined and precise, offering aromas of ripe fruit, pear and peach. They are generous and beautifully balanced. So quality is also on the agenda.

domaine william fevre montmains - wimbledon wine cellar

William Fèvre Chablis Montmains 2020 - DUTY PAID

91 - 93 points, Allen Meadows, Burghound and 93 points, Andy Howard MW, Decanter

Premier cru Montmain’s unique terroir of very stony terrain produces a wine with very pronounced mineral aromas, extraordinary power and excellent ageing potential.

No votes yet
£250.00 a case (6 x 75cl)