Good Chablis but better exists

I love Chablis. As I have often said, it is the most thrilling expression of raw Chardonnay. With its nervy tension of acid, fruit and minerality Chablis can approach Riesling in the fulgurating white wine idiom, although I will admit its aromas usually have a greater resemblance to Maconnais whites or very refined Meursault. Although, like all wines, the prices of Chablis are creeping skyward, you can still get characterful kit without giving your bank manager a peptic ulcer.

This is a good bottle of Grand Cru Chablis and it is in a most attractive stage of development, but I feel there is a positive dearth of vim to it. I know why I am thinking this: I’ve had the [link2post id=”4120″]super, soar-away, spank-mongous new reference point for ultimately arousing Chablis[/link2post]. Today’s bottle, alas, is a pale shadow of that unvanquished exemplar. I suppose we cannot, nor would we want to, drink Richebourg every day, but if I had the option I’d be drinking that Fevre with fanatical frequency. Anyway, I’ll stop being sniffy about wanting the absolute zenith of quality and relate the sadly somewhat dissatisfying essence of this wine.

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Chablis Grand Cru les Clos 2005, Jean-Paul and Benoit Droin

This nose has a good dollop of ripe lemon fruit and the rich mineral character that I think is similar to play-dough. If you are unfamiliar with this material of toddler-entertaining capability then next time you visit chums encumbered with child take some as a gift for the youngster and a bottle of decent Chablis for the grown-ups and get all present to compare the aromas – I swear even the ankle-biter will see what I’m raving about. So there is decent minerality and good fruit, both of which are to be approved of especially as they have a degree of complexity and are quite accessible, but I’d like a bit more density from a Grand Cru Chablis from a great vintage. I’d also like more of a sensory-stimulating tingle of exhilaration; thrills and spills are a big part of Chablis’ attraction. The palate also lacks a shade of weight and presence, but again I like the ample lemon fruit and plenteous minerality. Its acid level is acceptable although creeping toward being a smidgen too low. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good, text-book Chablis, as well it should be for the prices Droin ask these days, yet it is not engorged with sybaritic allure or erupting with intellectual exuberance. You won’t really be going wrong drinking this now, it is a pleasurable drink; those questing for the sharp-end of Chablis exhilaration should be favouring other wines.