William Fevre Chablis Vaulorent 2017 1er

The end result of ‘the Chablis difference’, for the drinker, is that there is a greater level of consistency within Chablis than elsewhere in Burgundy. Every level of Chablis offers fine-value terroir wine, mouthwatering and unique, with a little canny buying; even Petit Chablis can be memorable in a way that its Côte d’Or equivalent, the Hautes Côtes, struggles to match. ANDREW JEFFORD, Decanter Magazine

“As to the style of the 2017s, I would describe them as super-pure and concentrated, indeed they could be thought of as being like 2014…. Moreover I think that they will age extremely well.” BURGHOUND

Personally, I would go back and take a serious look at any 2017s you can find on retail shelves and wine lists. 2017 is exceptional as I noted in my tasting report last year. They have serious Chablis character with a sturdy backbone of acidity, concentration, weight and ripeness. It was a great vintage for so many producers right across the scale of classification. NICK STOCK, jamessuckling.com 2019

As I wrote last year, fresh, tensile wines that are classical in style have been the watchword at the 78-hectare Domaine William Fèvre for more than a decade. WILLIAM KELLEY, The Wine Advocate 2019

With all the Chablis going around at the moment I indulged myself in a little academic exercise the other day (by academic exercise I mean I drank a bottle of wine) and grabbed myself a bottle of William Fevre’s 2017 Vaulorent. In part because I thought 17s chez Fevre were absolutely among the greatest wines of the vintage but also because Vaulorent is a cru often overlooked and that is one of the wine world’s real tragedies.

So, firstly there is less than a handful, that I know of, producers who actually produce the cru and so many Chablis collectors aren’t exposed to the wine as often as they would other sites. Secondly, it really isn’t easy to find even if you were a fan, due to the size of the cru and how few people make it.

Vaulorent is unique in Chablis, in that it is the only Premier Cru that is actually a part of the same slope/facing as the Grand Cru, in fact it is nestled right up against Preuses (anyone who knows me well will attest to the fact that I love that lieu-dit) and shares a lot in common with that most exulted climat. The wine is often referred to as Fevre’s mini Grand Cru and, for me, usually punches in the same weight class as many of their Grands bottlings, at times outshining some of them. Such is the case with the 2017, a wine that is Grand Cru in all but name.

I thought it might be worth highlighting this wine on its own as I had a number of discussions with people who took some of the 18 Fevre offered recently and, in most cases, people just weren’t familiar with the site. For some context and comparison the site usually produces wines of more richness and power than the other great Chablis Premier Cru, Montee de Tonnerre. It really does look a lot like Preuses in that the minerality is often buried amongst the densely packed fruit when they are in their youth and become more apparent with some age or some air, though a certain iodine character is typical here.

The 2017 is nothing short of outstanding. It is a densely packed and muscular Vaulorent with huge upwards potential and palate staining intensity. A striking wine of focus and power from one of the best vintages in the region in some time, it ticks every box. The kind of wine you can’t help but be wowed by. As remarkable as it is today this beauty will only evolve and grow in stature over many years.

With all of that being said I have included four reviews, from the most knowledgeable critics on the subject. I think they all do a better job of summarising how good the wine is than I do.

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