Friday, February 2, 2007

Gorgeous Chablis

That dreaded email tickler from retailers, like dripping water, persistent, impossible to blockout or ignore. Of course it's my own fault for subscribing and then clicking on the post in the first place. Where does the blame lie and who is hurt if you quickly order a couple bottles here or there of something that catches your eye (can you say case discount please?). Enough of that, I like Flickinger Wines outside of Chicago (though I can't say the name 5 times fast without tying my tongue in knots). My first order of wine from FW was three bottles each of 2001 Brunellos--somewhere I read a blog or review of the Italians then flashed to wine-searcher pro found that FW had the best prices, a few key strokes later ordered. I threw the six pack in the cellar, wondering that it felt kind of light. About a month later I got around to opening it and low and behold I'm one bottle short. I call the place, the owner calls back we chat I say this has never happened to me, he says it has never happened to him blah blah blah he sends me another bottle without question. So I buy this guy's wines, esp. since he sources great stuff from Rhone, Italy and Burgundy.

I've always like Chablis, its lean crisp style makes one forget the flabby, over oaked California Chardonnays that still dominate the lower portion of the market today. At times the lower priced wines from Chablis an be watery, almost tasteless, so I only go with premier and grand cru wines from legitimate makers. Even though technically part of Burgundy, Chablis has its own AOC and is far more affordable. With only seven grand cru vineyards, all sitting on slopes above the Serein River, the region is easier to bet your arms around and understand. When Flickinger sent out a tickler on some 2003 grand crus from Chablis priced in the mid $30 range, I took the plunge, knowing that 2003 was an extremely hot growing season and that the grapes and resultant wine from many regions ran the risk of being baked to death. So the other day after poking around in the cellar looking from something of interest I opened a bottle of Domain Christian Moreau Pere & Fils 2003 Chablis Grand Cru, Les Clos, Alc. 11-14% (what?? that's what is on the bottle, I swear.) Christian Moreau's family reclaimed it stake in the various Chablis grand crus in 2002 and the 2003 was the family's second vintage. The average age of the vines in Les Clos is 55 years (!), the soil rocky with clay. Hand harvested, gently table sorted, 65% stainless, 35% oak (only 10% of which is new oak).

Tasting Notes: Nose of apples and stone fruit, good balance, minerals and melon mid-palate, crisp, racy and refreshing. Vanilla notes in long finish. Very polished and crafted, great structure, with quite a few years of life left. Good food wine too, grilled some trout and the wine balanced out the flavors in the fish very nicely.

Rating: Tasty.

Cheers, Barrld

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