Chablis represents some of the best seafood compatible wines in the world, but only if you happen to like oysters and have access to well made Chablis, from a successful vintage, you are in luck.
Both complement each other superbly.
The region’s Kimmeridgian soil yields grapes that offer unequalled purity and minerality.
The history of winemaking in Chablis goes back to 865A.D, with the development of vineyards by the monks of Saint Martin de Tours, on slopes facing the Serein River that cuts through the village.
In the following centuries, the Chablis wine trade grew by leaps and bounds; thanks to the construction of canals from Paris to Auxerre.
While after the French revolution in 1789 vineyards changed hands, the total area covered with vineyards reached 38,000 hectares, but by the end of the 19th century the acreage ha decreased to less than 1000 hectares due to the phylloxera that arrived in Chablis in 1887.
After grafting vines to phylloxera-resistant rootstocks, the introduction of mechanization and installation of anti-frost equipment, vineyard acreage increased once more, and today measures 4580 hectares. There are four quality levels of Chablis, based on vineyard location.
Petit Chablis 650 hectares, Chablis 3055 hectares, Premiere Cru 767, and Grand Cru 100. Grand cru consists of seven single vineyards and represents the pinnacle of quality of Chablis. They are Les Clos (26 hectares), Les Preuses (11.4), Vaudesir ( 14.7), Valmur (13.2), Bougros (12.6), Grenouilles (9.3), and Blanchot (13.7).
Grand cru production accounts fro two per cent of the total, and Grand Cru Chablis are the most expensive of all in the region.
Domaine William fever traces back its origins to the second half of the 18th century and today owns considerable acreage in the grand Cru and Premiere Cru sub-regions.
The winery is famous for paying attention to detail – yields are kept below maximum set by the A.O. C. All fruit is hand picked and placed in small crates to prevent crushing. Bunch sorting is rigorous, pressing short, and the time elapsed between harvest and vatting or barrel aging is minimal by all standards in the region.
William Fevre is now owned and managed by the Henriot family of champagne fame.
Recently, wine writers and trade had an opportunity to taste the 2009 vintage.
Chablis, 2009, brilliant, greenish-yellow colour, aromas of pear/apples waft out of the glass. Dry, clean, pure, wit a long after taste.
Chablis Premiere Cru Vaillon, 2009, round and generous with a lovely fresh finish. Ready to enjoy with crustaceans and noble Dover sole a la meuniere.
Chablis Premiere Cru Montmains, 2009, excellent fruitiness, precise texture, mid-weight, fine and balanced.
Chablis Mont de Milieu, 2009, charming, excellent minerality, fruitiness, and long finish.
Chablis Monte de Tonerre, 2009, powerful, elegant, balanced, fruity and good minerality.
Chablis Premiere Cru Vaulorent, 2009, strong and rich minerality, excellent purity of frit, balance and long finish
Chablis Vaudesir, 2009, aromas of apples and pears jump out of the glass. Fine mid-palate, balance with good acidity and minerality.
Chablis Bougros, 2009, rich and creamy mouth feel, fine minerality and depth.
Chablis Les Preuses, 2009, floral aromas, mid-weight, fine minerality, long after taste,
Chablis Les Clos, 2009, fruity, fine minerality, creamy and rich with a long and satisfying aftertaste.
Pair with freshly shucked oysters with a drop or two of lemon juice, or fresh shrimp sautéed in clarified butter and enriched with dill and dry white wine.
All can be ordered through Woodman Wines and Spirits, Toronto
Delivery can take up to eight weeks.