Medium gold color; citrus, yellow apple, white flowers on the nose; citrus, white peach-pear, melon, quince on the palate.
Dry; crisp, fresh, tangy, with minerality throughout and saline notes on mid-palate through the finish. Light body. This is quintessential chablis from Burgundy. Sharp with steel-like precision. Most of the wine finished in stainless steel; 10% finished in very mature oak barrels. You get the 100% chardonnay fruit here, no masking of the flavors with oak. The winery has not used new oak since 1998; 13% ABV.
Winemaker Didier Séguier was born in Cognac and worked in Alsace, Champagne, and the Rhône Valley. In 1992, he joined Bouchard Père & Fils in Beaune to work with cellar master Philippe Prost. Séguier joined William Fèvre in 1998. In 2018, Séguier earned the title of “White Wine Maker of the Year” by the International Wine Challenge.
Domaine William Fèvre emphasizes sustainability and showcasing of Chablis terroir. Didier works with vineyard workers; he assigns one person per six acres; the standard in the region is one person per 12 acres. William Fèvre was among the first growers in the region to adopt organic and biodynamic viticulture. In 2014, it became the first winery in the region to receive the HVE3 (High Environmental Value) certification from the French government, a process started in 2009. There are five wineries our of 400 in Chablis that work biodynamically.
William Fèvre also is proud of its embrace of DIAM corks—made from real cork, but manufactured to ensure neutrality and consistency—since 2007. This attention to detail and forward thinking reflects in this wine.
The winery extolls the its terroir: “everything that can be done to achieve the wine’s fullest potential is done: harvesting by hand in small crates, meticulous sorting of the clusters, short pressing, careful settlings, and seeking the perfect balance according to the vintage, followed by aging in both tanks and barrels. Since 1998, new oak has not been used by the domain so that the subtle variations of Chablis’ terroirs come through.”
William Fèvre Chablis Champs Royaux 2018 is splendid example of precise Chablis, a pure expression of chardonnay not adulterated with oak. The winery admirably focuses on delivering its Burgundian terroir. Pair with shellfish, especially oysters; chicken tarragon; clam chowder; escargot; grilled fish; seared scallops; grilled veal; pork chops with mushrooms; roast chicken; washed rind cheeses, goat cheese. $23-25