Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Domaine Fourrey, Chablis Premier Cru, Mont de Milieu, 2015 (Nov. 28, 2017)
As much as I love Chablis, it's getting harder to write about the merely good wines. The great ones are great, of course, and any bad wine can be fun to pan. Other than that, there's only so much even a compulsive-obsessive like me can write about the aromas and tastes that make up the marine theme that is Chablis: oysters, shells, sea air, sea weed, kelp. Kelp! That's a good one, I haven't used that word before.
Is that why there's a backlash against Chablis recently? Have we writers run out of interesting things to say about it or has it really become an annoying prevalence on the restaurant scene, a brand whose recent popularity with the masses has become a turnoff for the cognoscenti? Is it so wrong that it's become a bestseller because civilians find it so to pronounce? - never mind that its style and reserve makes it an easy food pairing. We've been spoiled with something on the order of two dozen Chablis producers being imported to Israel in the last few years. Me, I can still remember when all you could find in Israel was two-three negociants and Jean Durup. I don't know whether I'm jaded, but I have been buying less Chablis in general, and what I have been buying I rarely cellar these days, basically I just drinking it up.
The names, though, the names get me. Doesn't Chablis really have the most romantic and exotic vineyard names? My favorites are "L’Homme Mort", which I think even the most rudimentary of French speakers understand to be "the Dead Man"; and "Montée de Tonnerre", which Google Translate has just told me is "Ascent of Thunder" and blew my mind.
Mont de Milieu is romantic for its geographical, not linguistic, pertinence as it signifies the border between Burgundy and Champagne. If Chablis really needs an advocates then how about this wine, whose mineral and saline flavors highlight the best of what both regions make of Chardonnay?
Oh, and by the way, the Fourrey Mont de Milieu isn't all about the sea and the beach - truly, Chablis is never only about that - it has a good measure of pungent apple skins. I'd go with up to five years of cellaring.