"Two thousand six brought clean grapes with no rot, but slightly lower acidity than 2005," said Jean-Pierre Grossot, who began harvesting on the day of the ban. "The two vintages show similar richness and fruity character, but 2005 is more about citrus fruits and grapefruit while 2006 shows more fresh pear and white peach." Everything got ripe in 2006, he added, and the wines will be for drinking before the 2005s, which are more closed in their youth. Grossot told me he generally preferred vineyards with southeast exposures in 2006 (such as his Fourneaux holding), as vines with more morning than afternoon sun were less affected by the hot, clear July weather. Incidentally, Grossot changed his method of filtration beginning with the '05 vintage. He still pumps the wine, but the juice hits the membrane at a more oblique angle, which Grossot says is much less hard on the wine. (Russell Herman/World Wine Source, Berkeley Heights, NJ)
Previously recommended: 2005 Chablis (86), 2005 Chablis (U.S. cuvee; 87), 2005 Chablis Cote de Troemes (88), 2005 Chablis Les Fourneaux (88).
(Grossot was about to bottle this in early June) Musky aromas of quinine, licorice and lemon-lime. Juicy, brisk and a bit metallic, with lemon, grapefruit and licorice flavors framed by firm acidity. Finishes spicy, minerally and quite firm. This one actually tastes more like Grossot's description of the 2005 vintage.
(this parcel, an extension of Fourneaux, used to go into the Cuvee La Part des Anges) Powdered lime and a metallic quality on the nose. Juicy, pure and brisk, with sharply delineated flavors of lemon, grapefruit and minerals. Richer and longer than the basic village wine, but brisk, citric and very firmly built. Grossot has two cuvees of this juice: one will go into his village Chablis.
(from vines at the top of the hill facing Grossot's house in Fleys; this is higher in acidity than the first village wine and will get a separate bottling) Pale, green-tinged color. Subdued but pure aromas of quinine, lime zest and grapefruit peel. Dense, ripe and rich but with piquant acidity to frame the lemony fruit. Very nicely balanced, chewy village wine with unusual thrust for its appellation.
Pale, green-tinged color. Sexy aromas of musky white peach, lime and minerals. Supple, rich and pure, with fresh acidity and quinine and stone notes leavening the density of texture. A very tactile, spicy wine with a palate-staining aftertaste. Classic Chablis with plenty of breadth and mineral spine. And showing well today.
Green-tinged yellow. Ripe peach and lemon drop on the nose; less minerally and more exotic than the foregoing samples. In a distinctly rounder style, with good fat to the peach and spice flavors. The dusty, tactile, dry finish shows a slight saline quality. A bit youthfully disjointed today, and not yet showing the length of the Fourneaux: this will need time in bottle to harmonize.
Good pale, green-tinged color. Highly nuanced aromas of smoky silex, wet stone, lemon and licorice, with a riper white peach element emerging with aeration. Quite rich and ripe but youthfully austere, with flavors of liquid stone and lemon drop lifted by a suggestion of curry powder. Very fine-grained, long premier cru that conveys a strong impression of soil character. For all its richness, though, this is uncompromisingly dry and backward on the aftertaste.
Good pale yellow. Musky, nuanced nose combines quinine, crushed stone, white peach, spearmint and lemon drop, plus a hint of vanilla; a bit less pristine than the Vaucoupin. Dense, ripe and rather powerful, with broad flavors of peach and spice. Finishes quite dry and austere, with a strong stony character and plenty of lift. Grossot will add a bit of juice that's currently aging in barrel.
($38; done entirely in cuve Pale yellow. Mineral-driven aromas of wet stone and lemon drop. Large-scaled, rich and dry, with rather austere flavors of underripe pineapple and liquid stone. Very long and extremely young, finishing with terrific lemony cut. I underrated this wine a year ago.
($40) Good pale yellow. Smokier and toastier on the nose than the Vaucoupin, with a strong silex character and a distinctly grilled aspect from the wood element (one-third of this was aged in barrel). Very rich and broad but backward, with a fine-grained texture and bright lemony fruit. This comes across as almost sweet following the Vaucoupin, with a slight caramel suggestion of oak, and yet the very long and fresh finish is quite austere.