Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Chablis Splurge

A Chablis completely rocked my world last time I went to a Sotheby's pre-auction tasting. It was my first real Chablis, and what a way to start. Domaine William Fevre is among the very top producers in Chablis, and the Grand Cru designated Le Clos vineyard produces what many feel are his top wines each year.


Although it's not difficult to find Fevre's village Chablis, or even some of the Premier Cru wines, I have been looking for Le Clos since that tasting, and I haven't seen it on the shelves of any of the wine stores I frequent. But the other day while wandering around TriBeCa Wine Merchants, my first time in the store, I spotted it. Way in the back, innocently sitting there with a few white Burgundies, a few bottles of 2005 Le Clos waited patiently for the right person to adopt them.

6 bottles remained in the store that day, "the last in the city" according to the proprietor. At $75 a bottle, this wine is out of my league, but MAN, did I want some. I walked out of there empty handed wishing that I was an investment banker.
Over the weekend I somehow convinced myself that I could buy two bottles of this wine. You know, the whole "2005-vintage-of-the-century" thing, the whole "it's-impossible-to-find-this-wine" thing, the whole "I-have-so-very-little-self-control-when-it-comes-to-wine" thing. So I raced back to the store after the weekend, positive that there would be zero bottles remaining. Glee - there were in fact four beautiful bottles still sitting there.

I am now the proud owner of two bottles of 2005 Domaine William Fevre Chablis Grand Cru Le Clos, and I'm also $150 poorer. I must be insane to spend that kind of dough on fermented grape juice. But talk to me in 10 years when I open one of these puppies...then we'll see who is crazy, and it won't be me!

7 comments:

Steve L. said...

Your description of the self-justification and rationalization that goes on when it comes to wine purchases is spot on! I am doing the same thing right now over 2 bottles of Thierry Allemand Cornas. Sometimes the expediture seems rash and egotistical, at others as necessary as air. Go figure.

I am a Chablis freak myself, and have built a small collection of Dauvissat, Fevre, and Raveneau over the 1999-2005 vintages. For the best quality/price ratio I can suggest searching out the Dauvissat 'Forest' and the Fevre 'Fourchaume-Vaulorent.' (I think the 2005s of both are still available.) Unless a glass of Grand Cru Chablis is served alongside these two, you're unlikely ever to miss the differences--or at least you'll be quite content with either. Plus, you can buy 3 bottles for what you'd spend on 2 Grand Crus, and having more Chablis is a good thing.

Brooklynguy said...

Hi Steve - thanks for the Fourchaume tip. Is the Fourchaume bottle difference from Fourchaume-Vaulorent? I will look for the Forest - I think I saw that somewhere nearby. I appreciate the suggestions, thanks!

Steve L. said...

The Fourchaume-Vaulorent is a selection of the best lots from the Fourchaume cru. If I recall correctly, the grapes used to make it are grown near the Preuses Grand Cru vineyard. Consequently it costs more than the Fourchaume (which is also very good, along with the Montee de Tonnerre). Google any of these wines and you'll see lots of information. There's a good amount of the Fourchaume-Vaulorent available in SF right now for $46. Dauvissat's wines are almost always splendid.

Brooklynguy said...

I want to taste all of these wines. We'll see where I am in the ol' wine budget department in a couple of weeks. I really appreciate this information Steve.

Joe said...

I am always fighting that battle with the pricey stuff, but it is even worse when it is in the cellar - you never want to take it out, waiting for the perfect time, and then worried it will be corked! This wine will be haunting you until you open one on that perfect occasion and it goes down just right!
I have had the village chablis, and I always enjoy it. Still in France, catch up soon, Cheers!

Mike said...

Here's the train of thought I use to justify pricey wine purchases. I hope it helps you!

When faced with a bottle that's clearly more than I like to spend at the wine store, I try and think to myself, would I ever spend this much on a bottle at a restaurant (and clearly, with restaurant wine markups where they are, I'd be buying a lower-quality wine for this price), and if the answer is yes, I can usually justify the in-store purchase. I know it basically equates to playing a mind-trick on yourself, but this is what I do! Hope it helps!

Brooklynguy said...

Mike? Is that South Slope Mike the derivatives dude?

Either way, that is actually a very useful mind trick, and I can foresee it justifying many a future purchase. I will explain it that way to the wife and hopefully she'll feel the same way...