.Among recent developments at this estate are lighter pressing of the grapes and less moving of the wine, according to marketing director Marc Cameron.Today's wines are cleaner earlier, he added, and they're also less hard and bitter-edged in the early going.The estate is now using some microbullage to help the fermentations finish more quickly.These are always concentrated wines, and in recent vintages have become steadily less rustic in character.The domain harvested late in 2004, bringing in its grand crus with potential alcohol around 12%.They began with clean juice, then stirred the lees over a longer period than usual since the malolactic fermentations were delayed.(Weygandt-Metzler Importing, Unionville, PA)
(done entirely in stainless steel) High-toned aromas oforange and toast. Juicy and nicely ripe for Petit Chablis, with strong acidity framing the orangeflavor. Leanish but not hard. A nicely intense, fruity wine to drink young. This has a relatively high 4.9 grams of acidity, with a low pH of 3.12.
Slightly high-toned aromas of ripe lemon and gingery spices. More minerally and deep but a bit less fruit-driven than the Petit Chablis, with notes of lemon, stone and fresh herbs.
Reticent aromas of menthol and minerals. Fat, supple, broad and spicy but quite dry, with a flavor oforange juice. Could use a bit more definition. Turns a bit narrow toward the back. This is from nine-year-old vines that were replanted at high density (8,000 per hectare, vs. the typical Chablis density of 5,500), and pruned using single, rather than double, guyot (i.e., one cane and one spur per vine). "Previously one vine gave about a bottle of wine," noted Cameron. "Now one vine equals about a half bottle, and we get ripeness earlier." This should be a wine to watch as the vines mature.
(tasted from tank) Pale yellow-green. Crystallized lemon,orange and a nutty nuance on the nose. Moderately dense and a bit dusty, with a juicy orangeflavor lifted by spearmint. A bit hard-edged today as it's in the process of being fined.
Pale yellow. Ripe peach and pink grapefruit on the nose. Fatter, riper and sweeter than the Montee de Tonnerre, with a more oily texture. flavor of ripe pineapple nicely framed by strong acidity. This, too, is on its finings but comes across as rounder than the Montee de Tonnerre. Very persistent spicy, minerally finish.
(this is Servin's only grand cru made entirely in stainless steel) Pale yellow-green. Musky nose combines stone fruits, flint, spices and pepper; herbaceous hints in conjunction with exotic fruit notes suggest a rather wide range of ripeness. Fat and concentrated, with strong grapefruity acidity. A bit youthfully disjointed, even tart on the end. There's something rustic about this rather dense grand cru.
(tasted from barrel) Aromas oforange juice and spice. Supple and fruit-driven, with impressive volume. Slightly high-tonedflavors of soft citrus fruits and spices. Slightly streaky acidity.
(from barrel) Aromas of crystallized citrus peel, apricot and ginger. Densely packed, big and rich, with ripe peach and orangeflavors. This has plenty of buffering material for its acidity. A big boy, with a distinctly dry finish.
Good pale color. Pineapple, toast and nutmeg on the nose. Juicy but imploded, with subtle flavors of pineapple, peach,orange, spices and stone. Very bright and very long. Not the fattest but clearly the finest of this set of 2004s.
($30) Subdued aromas of pineapple candy, ginger and dried stone fruits, with a suggestion of toast. Supple and round, with a hint of minerality. But shows a distinctly dry edge of acidity on the end, possibly from added acid. (The numbers here are 12.9% alcohol, 3.9 grams per liter of acidity and a pH of 3.25.) Cameron told me that the Servin 2003s were acidified for the fermentation and again before the cold stabilization.
($33) Reserved but scented aromas of ginger and quinine. Then quite concentrated, with intenseflavors of peach, spices and stone. Bright acids are a bit obvious but serve to extend the wine's finish.
($33) Exotic aromas of apricot, mango, passion fruit and menthol. Fat on entry, then a bit tight, even hard-edged, in the middle and dry on the finish. Here the acids (3.95 grams per liter) appear to amplify the wine's alcohol.
($67; this wine was done entirely in barriques in vintage 2001 and 50% in barriques in 2002 but is now made entirely in tank) High-toned aromas of mirabelle and dried nuts.Juicy, spicy and clean, with rather penetrating orange and lemon flavors. Seems better balanced than the Vaillons and less dry on the back end.
($67) Pale color. Aromas oforange oil, apricot nectar and toasty, spicy oak. Fat on entry, then a bit spirity and aggressive in the middle. The wine's oak, acidity and alcohol currently give the finish a bitter edge. I much prefer the front half of this wine today.
($67) Orange , apricot, pineapple syrup, honey and oak on the nose. Soft, fat and full; a large-scaled Chablis in the style of aCaliforniachardonnay. Began a tad dry on the end, but turned sweeter and smoother with aeration and ultimately conveys an impression of lower acidity than most of these 2003s.
($70) Very pure, classic aromas of grapefruit, quinine, crushed stone and minerals. Dense, ripe and silky, with concentratedflavors of pineapple and stone. Here the oak adds subtle spiciness and sweetens the wine's finish without being intrusive. Harmonious, classy and very long, with no sign of excess alcohol. A lovely 2003.