Chablis: Premiere or Grand Cru under $40
- Dapuma Apr 23, 2011 12:48 PM
I tried this and really liked it:
2007 Joseph Drouhin Chablis Permier Cru
So i am on the hunt for something similar to it preferablly under $40 per bottle
I cannot get anything decent (AZ) locally for chablis so i have to order it online so i am looking for some alternatives
Also i need to order Nolet's Gin (amazing) so if the place has that and some good chablis that will save on shipping costs
I have found a few places online that have the 2007, however those places do not have Nolet's and i am not opposed to branching out to try other types/brands of chablis so i am trying to figure out if i can combined everything into one order, or is what i tried very strong in the under 40 price range and i should make two seperate orders
My first comment is "don't overlook 'regular' Chablis (Chablis a/c)." There are some great wines out there under the straight "a/c" . . .
That said, while Grands Crus from Chablis may be difficult to find for less than $40, you can definitely find any number of Chablis 1er Cru available for well under $40. Look for offerings from Louis Michel, Jean-Paul Droin, Domaine Francine & Olivier Savary -- among many others. INdeed, you can find a number of 2009 William Fèvre Chablis 1er Crus available on pre-arrival for <$40.
I don't know a ton about wine but I am learning - what are the differences between the names you have listed - is william fevre better?
From my understanding the 1er's are better quality grapes than a/c and that is worth the step up - the grand cru is more expensive because those qare the best grapes?
What would be a good regular one to look at?
In a sense, there are no "best grapes." On the other hand, it's all about "location, location, location . . . "
There are four separate appellation contrôlée designations within the region of Chablis. From the "bottom" to the "top," they are:
-- Petit Chablis
-- Chablis (sometimes written as "Chablis a/c")
-- Chablis Premier Cru (aka Chablis 1er Cru)
-- Chablis Grand Cru
It's all the same wine, in that it's all produced from Chardonnay, but there are significant differences (at least on paper) between them. There are seven specific vineyards Grands Crus (the eighth is unofficial, yet it exists nonetheless), and there are 40 Premiers Crus. these, obviously, are site specific; yields (HL/ha) and potential alcohols are restricted . . . well, they are in ALL appellations, but the levels are increasingly "tighter" as one moves up through the hierarchy of the four appellations.
As with all Burgundy wines, the wine can come from a producer or from a négociant, and as with all winemakers everywhere, they all do the same thing, but they all do it a little bit differently. Stylistically, some producers may use new oak; others may use older oak; some may use no oak whatsoever. Some may employ sur lie aging and bâttonage, others may not. And so on and so on and so on . . . .
William Fèvre is one of the outstanding names within Chablis, but there are many other great producers as well. I have always been partial to the wines of Pinson, Vocoret, Savary, Grossot, Perchaud, Servin, and more . . . .
Raveneau is in a class by itself, but with prices to match.
Pinson, Vocoret, Savary, Grossot, Perchaud, Servin . . . Do you recommend one over the others? I see that K&L is selling a 2008 Voceret for $21.99 and a 2008 Savary for $16.99. Artisan Wine Depot in Oakland is closing out the Corinne Perchaud Chablis 2008 for $21.99 (says $30 is the normal price). Wine Exchange in Orange -- one of my favorite retailers -- has the SERVIN 2008 MONTEE DE TONNERRE CHABLIS for $28.99 (the SERVIN 2008 BLANCHOTS CHABLIS is more at $54.99).
I see what you mean about Raveneau -- Wine Exchange has the RAVENEAU 2004 CHAPELOT CHABLIS for $89.99. Or is it that the 2004 is a better vintage?
So little time and money, so much Chablis. Would like to pick up some for summer.
It's hard to know what to buy. For instance, is the Raveneau that much better than the Servins?
1) Don't overthink this.
2) Crawl before you walk; walk before you run; run before you drive; drive before you race.
3) We each have our OWN taste buds in our mouths, not someone else's.
In other words . . .
There are literally dozens and dozens of different labels out there -- try them! Don't get caught up in "analysis paralysis" and spend time thinking about what you should get.
Personally speaking, I am a firm believer in not spending more than one's budget permits, no matter how tempting. In other words, you started out looking for Chablis Premiers Crus or Grands Crus that were available for less than $40 -- stick with that! Raveneau can wait, and it's very different than your "typical" Chablis.
As I said above, every winemaker does the same thing, but they are do it slightly differently. There is NO one "best" wine out there. The best is what tastes best to YOU, what you enjoy the most -- not what I, or Robert, or Jancis or Clive or Michael enjoys the most. Try several different wines and discover the style(s) and producer(s) that you enjoy . . . .
there is a fair amount of good chablis available in az. most retailers in az don't know s@*t about wine, especially imports, but they can get them for you. what you need to know is who the importer is so they can go to the correct wholesale distributor. usually the domaine will have a website that will name their importer or importers. google the wine and you should be able to find the importer's website - maybe on the second page. once you know the importer or better yet the az wholesaler you can have your retailer see what they can get. the wholesaler can even tell you which retailer carry the wine so that you will know where to go.
fevre wines are good if a bit oaky (traditionally chablis has used little or no oak until recently) and i prefer no discernible oak. alliance bev dist in az
i sold a lot of olivier savary when i had backstreet. excellent quality and very reasonably priced. personally i liked his village chablis better than drouhin's 1er crus and grand crus. imported by kermit lynch. kl's distributors have been in a state of flux in az but last i knew valley of the sun had savary.
domaine laroche makes wonderful wines albeit with a touch of oak. all screw caps up to and including grand crus - a very thing IMO. last i knew republic was wholesaler.
north berkeley imports frederic magnien's negociant wines and they can be very good. was at quail dist in az.
louis michel is at southern i think. no oak if i recall correctly.
You might want to look for Chablis from Gilbert Picq--even at the basic Chablis level, the wines have a lot to say, and the prices are reasonable. Polaner is the importer.
Although I'm a HUGE Chablis fan, Douhin's are not near the top of my list. imho, they do better on the Cote d'Or.
As for "Premier Cru," there are quite a number of Premiers Cru, and each of them is different, not only from each other, but from producer to producer.
In the price range you mention, I'd look for Savary, Brocard, Christian Moreau, Pascal Bouchard.
My personal favorite Premier Cru Chablis is Les Fourchaumes, which is one of the pricier, but you can find in under $40. However, Petit Chablis is also tasty, and a lot lower in price. I also prefer low to no oak in Chablis. The flinty freshness is the hallmark of this Chardonnay.
Just to be clear . . .
>>> Although I'm a HUGE Chablis fan, Douhin's are not near the top of my list. imho, they do better on the Cote d'Or. <<<
Are you referring to the Burgundy négociant Joseph DROUHIN (I think you were, but left out the "R"), or are you referring to Jean-Paul Droin, who doesn't make wines in the Côte d'Or? In the case of the former, I would agree that their offerings of Chablis are rarely anything to get too excited about.
there is a savary regular for around 20 or 30 i believe and there is a les clos grand cru for 38 (that seems cheap is les clos not a good grand cru?) 2006 Domaine Simonnet-Febvre Chablis Grand Cru 'Les Clos' - why is this so cheap?
i saw some les fourchaumes under 40 so that could work as well - seems like there are a few 07's or 06's - mostly 08's and some pre-order 09's - are the 09's "ready to drink" or do they need to be held for a couple years?
actually les clos is generally considered to the the best of the grand crus. many producers source fruit from les clos and there are significant differences among producers abilities. vintages vary also.
like i said above, i'll take a savary village chablis over a Drouhin grand cru any day. only way to know what suits you is to try as much as your wallet and liver can handle.
ok so for an initial sampling i am going to go with (from k and l)
2008 Domaine Francine & Olivier Savary Chablis 16.99
2009 Maison William Fevre Chablis "Champs Royaux" 18.99
2009 Domaine Francine & Olivier Savary Chablis 1er Cru "Fourcahume" 29.99
2008 Domaine Vocoret Chablis 21.99
and then i have enough budget to get 1-3 more bottles to try - still need to keep it under 40
i was thinking maybe one of the william fevre pre order's but if i have to cellar it awhile not sure if i want to go that route - any other suggestions or will those bottles be ready to drink so not to worry
if one of the pre orders is a good idea, which one should i get to try there are quite a few 1er cru's that are under 40 for the pre arrivals
is there another less expensive "village" chablis i missed that i should add to the order
Thanks for all the help so far - my liver is excited or is that my palate :)
ok i am going to take out the william fevre champs then
the domaine laroche st martin does not look to be avaliable through k and l - for this particular order i need to go online, not local because Nolet's doesnt have an AZ distributer - and i only have tried one type of chablis at the moment so i do not have a wide range to say i like this recommend this etc
i do like: Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina - which isnt chablis but is another white i really liked
so for k and l there isnt really anything to add to the list,
maybe add this:
2008 Domaine Drouhin-Vaudon Chablis 20.99
2008 Domaine Bernard Defaix Chablis 1er Cru "Vaillons" 24.99
2009 Château de Maligny Chablis 1er Cru "Montee de Tonnerre" 26.99
Would any of those 3 be worth adding or just go with the inital order then go local?
Other thought I had was getting a pre-arrival of the '09 william fevre - but if I have to wait a year or two to drink it i would rather not
For me the producer is as important (maybe more) as the vineyard. None of those you mentioned particularly float my boat, but I'm pretty fussy when it comes to Chablis -- my favorite expression of the chardonnay grape.
As has been mentioned in this thread, 2008 is a particularly good year for Chablis, so most 2008's are a safe bet.
i found some 2008 droin and pinson on sale @ jj buckley - they all seem like premier cru's for 23-30
is there a best two or three on there
oh i found another place that has nolets for cheaper :) beltramos
08 moreau 21.99
08 pinson mont de milieu 32.99
08 picq vaucoupin 34.99
08 picq vosgros 29.99
the page says the vosgros is drink 2015 - so is that a sitter? Looking for stuff to try now?
i am assuming the ones with names are 1er because they arent just the producer and a year? there are no pictures so hard to tell
thx - so many options brain melting time for sleep
trying to maximize the shipping and get a good variety of village chablis to figure out what direction i want to go seems impossible in one order