.Jean-Pierre Grossot told me that there was minimal loss due to frost around his home village of Fleys in 2003; drought was a much more important factor behind the year's very small crop.Grossot has only two bottlings of 2003 Chablis villages due to the tiny crop, and both were made from a blend of numerous holdings.Interestingly, Grossot did very little acidification in 2003, and none at all for the village wine.Some of the 2004s were still on their lees at the beginning of June, as Grossot was still hoping to get a bit more fat in his wines."The vintage is very Chablis, and a pleasant surprise," he told me."The wines are aromatic and have good acidity."Grossot admitted that he had never seen so much oidium and told me he did a pass through the vines before the harvest to cut off affected grapes.He then did a severe debourbage to clean up the must.(Russell Herman/World Wine Source, Berkeley Heights, NJ) Also tasted: Chablis.
Musky aromas of lime, grapefruit and ginger. Supple and nicelydelineated, with modest intensity and flesh. Spearmint and limeflavors are perked up by lively acidity. A juicy wine with modest material. Finishes slightly tart.
(a second cuvee, still on its lees) Grapefruit, lime and minerals on the nose. A step up in intensity. With more density and length, the finish seems less tart. I take it that this is the batch of village wine destined for theU.S.market.
(racked and assembled) Riper aromas of lemon candy, quinine and green pepper. Ripe, pure and vibrant, with notes of lemon peel, quinine and peppery spices. Offers good density and finishes with sneaky persistence and a suggestion of dusty stone.
(still on the lees) Hazy appearance.Deeply pitched aromas of ginger and pepper, with a distinctly herbal character. Then broader in the mouth but quite dry and not yet filled in. More backward and minerally than the foregoing samples. This needs more time "to make itself," says Grossot. Good typical, minerally Chablis with volume and finesse. From vines planted in the 1940s, according to Grossot.
Raw pineapple, grapefruit and pepper on the rather pungent nose; like the Vaucoupin, this calls to mind sauvignon blanc-a characteristic Grossot says was the result of the very slow, long maturation in September. Then riper and suppler in the mouth, but with a slightly aggressive sweet/sour aspect. Tricky to taste today: aromatic yet seemingly a bit green.
Tasted from cuve: Pure aromas of lemon and crushed stone; slightly reduced. Then dense and pure, with firm acids giving focus and lift to the lemon peel and stonyflavors. The longest and most palate-staining of these 2004 samples to this point. The same wine from barrique: Crystal lized lemon peel on the nose. Rounder in the mouth, with a hint of vanilla but not at all overly oaky. These vines date back to the late 1950s.
($33) Pale color. Aromas of ripe peach, honey and minerals; fresher than the basic Chablis and less obviously 2003 in character. Ripe peach and apricot flavors are framed by solid acidity. Shows somewhat elevated alcohol, but finishes brisk and firm, with palate-staining flavor. Only the 25% of this cuvee done in barrel was acidified.
($38) Honey and pear on the warm nose. Sweet, fat and honeyed, with a slightly blurry apricot flavor. A bit heavy and lacking cut. Finishes round, full and a bit diffuse.
($38; one-third older barriques and two-thirds cuve) Pale color. Aromas of honey and vanilla. Fat, round and sweet but with more definition and grip than the Vaucoupin, thanks to some underlying minerality. Betrays some alcohol on the end, but maintains its shape.