.The Brocards harvested during the first half of October in 2004, holding out for better ripeness and getting good minerality.Potential alcohols were in the 11% to 12.5% range, with the estate's fruit from their oldest vines highest in sugar.According to Julien Brocard, the family pressed with very soft pressure in order to extract a minimum of vegetal character.They also did a longer settling of the must than in most years.Paterfamilias Jean-Marc Brocard described the 2004s as "elegant in style but a bit timid today, unlike the '03s."The Brocards offer an extensive array of Chablis bottlings, and took over Domaine Azo with the 2004 vintage.This year I also tasted their "sensations collection" (Sensuel, Mineral and Extreme), premier cru blends designed to showcase very different sectors and soils of Chablis.While I understand what the family is trying to accomplish with these wines, I wonder if these additional bottlings simply confuse consumers who already have many, many wines to choose from at this address.(Martine's Wines, San Rafael, CA and Lauber Imports, New York, NY)
Pale yellow. Spicy aromas of citrus skin and pepper. Supple and easygoing, withflavors similar to the aromas. Fresh and juicy wine with early appeal.
Perfumed aromas of stone and citrus fruits, with a hint of chalk. Supple, fruity and accessible, with aflavor of peach lifted by a peppery nuance. Offers goodtexture and length. Will be suited for early drinking.
Reduced, smoky nose. Offers good sweetness but is currently dominated by its structure and comes across as rather unyielding. Finishes with good length. This is always slow to evolve, notes Julien Brocard.
(from the same sector as the Malantes) Perfumed aromas of citrus skin, quinine, flowers and fresh dill. Creamier and sweet in the mid-palate than the Malantes, withflavors of white peach and lemon. Nicely balanced, structured wine with good persistence. These vines produced less than the maximum allowable yields in 2004, according to Brocard.
Musky aromas of ginger, quinine, flint and dill. Supple, sweet and layered, with complexflavors of powdered chalk, flint, smoke, dill and oyster juice. Offers good energy in the mouth.
Minty, herbal and high-pitched on the nose. Then juicy and fresh in the mouth, with moderately concentratedflavors of citrus and white flowers. A bit tart toward the back.
Pungent, sweaty aromas of peppery spices and white flowers. Then ripe and soft in the mouth, with attractive sweetness and plenty of Chablis character. Like the Vaucoupin, this could use a bit more grip.
Musky, peppery, reduced nose. Sweet on entry, then a bit wishy-washy in the mid-palate, in need of more depth offlavor and grip. Shows a distinctly musky, foxy character today and a touch of finishing dryness. These vines are only 15 years old.
(from vines in excess of 70 years old) Pale, green-tinged color. Lively, nuanced aromas of stone, peppery herbs and smoke. Supple, ripe and sweet, with a peach flavor lifted by harmonious acidity. Offers good energy without coming across as hard. Nicely concentrated, serious Chablis with strong fruit and very good length.
Discreet, high-pitched nose hints at powdered stone and fresh herbs. Sweet and round but youthfully closed; less filled in and delineated today than the Mont de Milieu. I don't get quite the same impression of fresh acidity. Uncompromisingly dry on the back.
Pale color. Initially mute nose opened to reveal slightly exotic pineapple and smoke notes. Fat and glyceral in the mouth, with very ripeflavors of dried pineapple and banana. This rather sexy Chablis finished its fermentation with about 2.5 grams of residual sugar. Rich, smooth and persistent on the aftertaste. From 50-to-60-year-old vines in L'Homme Mort and the northern edge of Fourchaume, the side of the appellation that typically produces a more full-blown style of Chablis.
Pale color. Fresh aromas of minerals and white pepper. Supple but firm, with harmonious acids contributing to an impression of energy. Dense, shapely and persistent, with no hard edges.
(a selection from premier cru holdings on the north side of the Chablis region) Pale color with a hint of green. Stone fruits, herbs and menthol on the nose. Fresh and precise in the mouth, with ripe peach, spice and floralflavors framed by integrated acidity. Finishes a bit youthfully aggressive, but with very good length.
(from Montmains, Vaillons and Butteaux) Distinctly saline, flinty nose complicated by pepper and baking spices. Lean on entry, then rather austere in the middle, with limited flesh and sweetness. This is developing quite slowly. Shows a slightly reduced toasty, vanillin aspect.
(from Vaucoupin and Montee de Tonnerre) Slightly hazy appearance. Reduced aromas of wet stone, peppermint and tarragon. Rich, dense and smooth, yet with very good precision and verve. Impressively tactile, serious Chablis with noteworthy length. There's a lot of wine here.
Discreet aromas of peach and flint. Sweet, ripe and dense, with stone fruit flavors supported by firm minerality. Sound acids contribute to the impression of structure. But this grand cru will require some time to come into focus. Finishes with very good length.
Pure aromas of grapefruit, underripe pineapple, white pepper, powdered stone and baking spices. Round, concentrated, dense and bright, with lovely lift to the pineapple, spice and stoneflavors. More precise than the Bougros and quite stylish on the finish.
(bottled last September) Stone fruits, honey and flint on the slightly warm nose. Supple, ripe and concentrated, with good balancing acidity for a 2003. Dry and serious, even a bit tight and dominated by its structure. I'd wait a year or so on this one. The yield here was just 20 hectoliters per hectare, and Brocard noted that these grapes were picked with adequate levels ofmali c acidity.
($25) Slightly swampy aromas of pineapple, apricot, smoke and mint. Supple, ripe and rather exotic, but could use more personality and cut. Finishes with a hint of quinine and decent length.
Mint and herbs on the rather shy nose. Juicy on entry, then honeyed and high-toned in the middle, with a whiff of horseradish. Nicely concentrated, but finishes with an alcoholic burn. Shows some of the excesses of the vintage.
($27) Apricot and menthol on the nose. Round, ripe and fat, with rather exoticflavors of stone fruits, honey and truffle. Solid, rich chardonnay that manages to maintain its balance. Finishes reasonably fresh and persistent.
($31) Somewhat blurry aromas of exotic fruits and smoke. Fat and warm in the mouth, with a truffley character. Needs more mid-palate definition and back-end shape. Distinctly warm wine.
Very ripe aromas of smoke and flint, with some traces of minerality. Concentrated and glyceral, with good shape to its stone fruit and mineralflavors. As fat as this is, it also has verve. In fact, this is rather unevolved today and can be kept for two or three years. Slow-mounting finish is firm and persistent.
($58) Superripe stone fruits, spices and honey on the somewhat undifferentiated nose. Round and ripe, with just enough acidity to give shape to the stone fruit and spiceflavors. Rather powerful and just this side of heavy, but lifted by a floral nuance. Again, this is more impressive as ripe chardonnay than as Chablis.
($54) Discreet nose offers better lift than most of these 2003s. Fresher and more floral in the mouth, withflavors of ripe nectarine and minerals. Opulent and powerful but with good shape and verve.
High-toned, spicy nose; fresh but not yet expressive. Then juicy, tight and nicely delineated, with a surprisingly brisk lemonyflavor. Not at all hot on the finish but a bit lean. But also firm and persistent.
($59; a bit of this wine was aged in new barriquesComplex aromas of pineapple, smoke, toasted grain and wet stone. Fat, ripe and concentrated; broad and rich. Quite spicy in the middle and uncompromisingly dry on the finish. Ultimately the densest and deepest of these 2003s.