.Vincent Dauvissat compares 2004 to vintage 2000.The crop level was high in 2004, and acid levels, according to Dauvissat, are quite healthy in the post-malolactic wines.He harvested beginning on October 1 with grape sugars that ranged from 11.8% to 13.2%, and did just a bit of chaptalization-on the order of half a degree-for the lesser wines. Dauvissat told me that the typical 2.8 grams per liter acidity in his 2003s is the lowest ever at this estate.Still, the rain that fell on September 27 stimulated the vines, bringing a rise in acid levels and also enabling him to harvest fruit with natural alcohol between 12.5% and 13.5%.He acidified his earliest two cuvees, then stopped.Incidentally, Dauvissat continues to make extensive use of the traditional 132-liter feuillettes to age his premier crus (but not his grand crus).Historically, he told me, certain terroirs were always felt to need a lot of controlled oxidation in barrel after the alcoholic fermentation.And in the old days, these smaller containers made it easier to ship a barrel to Paris to be bottled.(Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, AL; the Dauvissat-Camus label is imported by Classic Wine Imports, Brookline, MA)
Aromas of apple, pear and stone. Round and pliant for Petit Chablis, with ripe flavors of pineapple and lemon. Very agreeable wine, with a lingering, ripe finish.
Pale yellow color. More reserved nose hints at minerals and smoke, plus a whiff of oak. Much less forthcoming than the Petit Chablis; serious, tight and incisive, with a brisk lemony flavor.
Exotic aroma of crystallized lemon. Fat and sweet, with impressive concentration for the vintage. This has a glyceral texture leavened by strong acidity. The lemon candy flavor is penetrating and vibrant.
From a 132-liter feuillette:Ripe, expressive aromas of pineapple, peach and almond. Opulent and ripe but quite dry, with a reticent peach flavor framed by harmonious acidity. Less open in the mouth than the Sechet but still essentially an easygoing wine. Finishes firm and lemony, with a hint of resiny oak. From a piece: Purer, more focused aroma and flavor of lemon, and subtler on the aftertaste.
Also from feuillette: Candied lime peel, orange zest and crushed stone. Dense and sweet in the mouth, with flavors of powdered stone and sweet citrus fruits. Offers wonderful energy and depth, and opens out impressively on the slow-mounting, vibrant finish. Dry and classic. An outstanding premier cru Chablis in the making.
Scented, fruit-driven aromas of pear, peach and stone. Superripe, dense and fat but with strong underlying structure. Dominant flavor of pineapple. The explosive finishing flavors are extended by the wine's strong acids. Dauvissat feels that this wine has a bit of a dip in the middle, but then finishes even longer than the Clos. He owns 70 ares of Preuses and rents another 30 in an adjacent parcel; both of these plots were planted by his father in 1970.
Pure aromas of crystallized lemon peel, cinnamon, toast and vanilla. Complex and discreet, with dynamic flavors of lemon, stone, flowers and spices. Wonderfully opulent and seamless yet firmly structured grand cru with terrific inner-palate energy. I took a sip of this and was immediately struck by the thought that this could be the wine of the vintage (it also happened to be the last 2004 sample I tasted on my visit to Chablis). Finishes very long and bracing but not at all hard. This will benefit from seven or eight years of bottle aging.
($28) Superripe nose hints at pear and nutty, resiny oak; a bit warm with alcohol. Concentrated but youthfully aggressive, with limited minerality and energy. Finishes with a nutty note.
($32) Riper, purer nose hints at lemon; much less obviously 2003 in character than the Petit Chablis. Quite vibrant and delineated in the mouth, with intense flavors of lemon, grapefruit, minerals and crushed stone. Finishes pure and firm. I would not have picked this blind as a 2003.
($45) Ripe but reticent aroma of lemon drop. Round, rich and very dry, with suggestions of pineapple and resiny oak. Following the rather sullen nose, this seems a bit warmer with alcohol than the village wine but also possesses good nervositeAs at Domaine Jean Dauvissat, fruit in this parcel was especially burned by the relentless sun of 2003.
($45) Vibrant, pure aromas of lemon drop, mirabelle, spices and minerals. Superrich, highly concentrated and seamless, with densely packed flavors of white peach, lemon and wet stone. Impressively glyceral for premier cru. Finishes dry and nutty. I'd wait a good five years on this one.
($45) Highly aromatic but discreet aromas of lemon, wet stone and flowers. Juicy, tight and highly concentrated, with terrific inner-mouth energy for the vintage. Very dense wine but light on its feet. The very long finish highlights pineapple and wet stone.
($72) Pale yellow-gold. Reticent but vibrant aromas of pineapple, lemon, mirabelle, white flowers and stone. Silky on entry, then minerally, brisk and firm in the middle, with a penetrating quality shown by very few examples from this vintage.Conveys an impression of energy.Finishes with explosive length, uncompromising dryness and stony perfume. Dauvissat told me he threw out the grilled grapes but included a lot of tiny dried grapes for their sheer concentration and the acidity they added.
($72) Pure, bracing aromas of citrus skin, pineapple, minerals, iodine, nutmeg and wet stone. Then dense, vibrant and precise, with penetrating flavors of lemon ices, spices, minerals, licorice, juniper and aromatic herbs. This very rich grand cru is technically very low in acidity, yet it seems full of life and finishes firm.