TN: Fevre Clos -- I was wrong

Domaine William Fevre, Grand Cru Chablis, Clos, 2010
The recent thread about poxed Raveneau Chablis compelled me to check in on a bottle of Fevre 2010 Clos. I have to admit that I’m a bit of a Chablis snob and have looked down my nose at the house as a second-tier producer. I also have read plenty of horror stories that pre-2000 Fevre is a poster child for the pox. So I approached the wine with more than a little trepidation.

Well, I’m happy to report that based on this one bottle it looks like I’ve been too quick to judge.

Absolutely no sign of early maturation. Wonderful nose of iodine and just-squeezed lemon. The palate is a bit broader than I normally associate with Clos, with a distinct whisper of richer fruits that I find appealing. Let me try to be clear – it’s still very much a rockhead/acid-freak style, with lots of concentration and tensile strength. It’s chiseled, but there’s the welcoming cushion/hint of pear-like fruit that tends to round out the wine without eclipsing Clos typicity. And there’s just the tiniest hint of honey lurking in the background. It has a sneaky length and persistence. Is it an absolute classic Clos? No. It is a very good Chablis that is Grand Cru in stature and provides nuanced pleasure? Most definitely.

My gut is that this wine might pick up a bit more complexity in 2-3 years, but why roll the dice? It’s a nice wine now and relative Grand Cru bargain for what I paid for it ($70).

A few side notes: I thought Fevre went DIAM in 2010, but this bottle had a long cork. The wine paired beautifully with a thick cut of Mexican sea bass that was marinated in Thai chile lime sauce and roasted on the grill.

But what is “classic Clos”? Raveneau? I’m not sure, I think Raveneau is outsized, unique, almost caricature-ish (not that I get to drink it very often). Dauvissat might be my “classic” benchmark. And by that benchmark, I think Fevre’s Clos is up there in the top tier.

premox is random. One sound bottle leads to no conclusion other than that the bottle was sound.

Echoing Alan, I’ve had a fair amount of Clos from various producers and I’m not sure what I’d call classic.

Pre-2000 Fevre the poster child? 2002 Fevre is up there as the worst producer/vintage combinations for POX ever.

Alan when I wrote classic I meant that super coiled and austere quality I associate with Clos.

This wine just seems a bit easier and has those slightly tropical notes that seem a bit atypical but delicious!

I believe Fevre was using Diam for all bottlings below grand cru at that point and added grand cru a year or two later.

that makes sense.

Didn’t Meadows give this some huge score?



If Dauvissat Les Clos is your benchmark then your benchmark is premoxed Chablis. :slight_smile:

My experience with Raveneau Les Clos is limited by my meager allocation, but the wines that I have consumed are a step above other producers and in no way a caricature of Chablis. IMHO They are pure, limestone infused examples of the best that Chablis offers. Yes the price has gotten crazy, but you can’t blame Raveneau for that. The wines are brilliant. And the ratio of good bottles to premox is 10x better than Dauvissat so if you factor in the spoilage rate Raveneau is probably cheaper in the long run.

Dauvisat and Raveneau are stylistic outliers IMHO, some love the style. My wife doesn’t. She’s an all stainless/non oak fan. I can do both.

I regard Dauvissat as a classic benchmark Clos, perhaps the classic. Basically mostly neutral wood. Fevre can have slightly more oak, but can be stellar. Premox is a separate issue–huge problem with Fevre, not as much of a problem as folks are making out with Dauvissat, but I guess still a concern for some. Raveneau is an outlier with their richer style, but still amazing. For me, I regard all stainless as outliers, not really traditional, but still can be very, very good stuff.

Agreed. 2002 and 2004 Fevre were the poster child vintages of premox for me, and I stopped buying.

I’m in the Dauvissat being the standard bearer of classic Chablis… Tho I think an argument could be made for Fevre here as well…in a but more modern style tho (in terms of winemaking style, not ripeness or oak). Dauvissat has had some premox, but no more than the others in my experience. Note Dauvissat, esp their GC, and esp their Preuses, shuts down after several years and require some coaxing to regain their form.

Allen Meadows (and John Gilman I believe) said Fevre used Diam in their entire line up, including the GCs, starting in 2010. I’ve verified that with 2010 Preuses, Bougros (both regular and CdB) and Valmur. The 2010s got the Diam10s, which are a bit longer, and have some printing to simulate regular cork…fairly obvious it isn’t if you do anything more than glance at it tho.

Dauvissat might or might not be the benchmark Clos…but they definitely are for Preuses. Fevre does a very good Preuses, #2 I’d say, but Dauvissat is definitely #1.

It’s more in a Raveneau style than classic, but Rav Clos is #1 imo.

Christian Moreau is pretty classic in their style as well…not as taut/minerally as Dauvissat, but still classic

I doth concureth…


My bad … typo … I meant pre 2010!

thanks. pre-2000 vintages were a crap shoot for other reasons (poor variable quality, cork issues, egc)

Benchmark: a standard or point of reference against which things may be compared or assessed.

Les Clos is a large vineyard with close to 40 producers making a version. Fevre is by far the largest volume producer from the vineyard followed by Moreau, Louis Michel and Dauvissat. I divide the producers into 2 camps: 1. those that use stainless steel to ferment and age and 2. those that use wood barrels.

Louis Michel gets my vote for the producer in the stainless steel camp. Raveneau gets my vote in the wood barrel camp.

I have more Dauvissat Les Clos in my cellar than any other, by a wide margin, so I drink it reasonably often and like the wines when they are on. But Raveneau for me is a cut above and the standard by which I measure other versions of Les Clos.

Agree on both points. I prefer the Dauvissat Preuses to his Les Clos. It’s got a lovely mineral infused and spice laden character that is really compelling. I’ve also had better luck with premox on his Preuses.

I drank a 2002 Dauvissat Preuses last night that was gorgeous:

2002 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru (1/17/2018)
Light gold. Iodine and candied apple on the nose. This put on weight in the glass, evolving from sweet apple flavors to an appealing saline minerality. Crisp and clean. The 2002 Preuses is drinking well today. (93 pts.)