Marketing director Marc Cameron describes 2006 as "a rich and tender vintage, not a dry, acid vintage." But 2005 is even richer, he adds, and possesses slightly higher acidity too. Francois Servin considers 2005 a fatter and more Burgundian vintage, more "original" Chablis in style, while the 2006s are less complex, more fruity and more modern. "The 2006s are like zinfandel," he said. "You don't ask questions about these wines; you just enjoy them." (Weygandt-Metzler Importing, Unionville, PA)
($18) Pale yellow color. Soft citrus and stone fruits on the nose, with an exotic suggestion of dried apricot. Then juicy and in a dry style, with modest depth and a flavor of orange blossom. A bit lean on the back but not short.
($21) Good pale color. Stone fruit aromas are a bit less pristine than those of the Petit Chablis. Sweet and fresh but a bit exotic, with less cut than the Petit Chablis. This is broader but comes across as a bit aggressive today, with a suggestion of spiky acidity on the back.
($30) Good pale yellow. Slightly reduced, high-toned but clean aromas of white peach and lemon. Not especially complex but the fruit-driven peach and orange flavors are nicely framed by ripe acidity. Finishes with suggestions of wet stone and minerals.
($31; tasted from tank) Light straw-yellow. Apricot and orange fruit aromas along with spicy, flinty minerality, a metallic nuance and some honeyed high tones. Rich, sweet and rather opulent but avoids coming off as heavy. There's an exotic quality to the fruit and a glyceral texture that suggest an element of noble rot, with the impression of botrytis underscored by apricot and honey on the aftertaste. This tastes richer than its moderate 12.8% alcohol.
($31; Servin has vinified this parcel of 40-year-old vines separately since 2005; it previously went into the domain's Forets bottling) Pale yellow. Exotic apricot, ripe peach and mirabelle on the nose, with a spicy character that's not from oak. Then fat and rich but at the same time juicy and powerful, with good backbone and reserve thanks to its underlying wet stone and flinty minerality and firm acids. This finishes dry and persistent, with strong soil tones.
($30) Pale yellow. Aromas of fresh apricot, white flowers and hazelnut. Thick, supple and slightly bitter-edged, but with a light touch from the calcaire Ultimately closed and a bit strict, and refreshingly dry on the back end, with a youthfully ungiving citrus edge and good subtle length. Very Chablis, but this will need a couple years of patience.
($25; half done in barrel and half in tank) Good pale yellow. Pineapple on the nose, with a slightly exotic quality. Dense and sappy on the palate, with ripe acids framing the pineapple and peach flavors. For village wine, this is fat and large-scaled, but then this vineyard east of Montmains was classed at the same level as Vaillons and Montmains before it was abandoned during World War I. A fruity, spicy wine with considerable power-and purer in the mouth than the nose would suggest.
($65) Pale yellow. Aromas of nectarine and white peach, with stony and smoky nuances. Firm citrus and mint flavors supported by a subtle minerally, stony underpinning. Not at all a sweet style. At once elegant and gripping, with the citrus and mineral notes carrying through on the back.
($70; done entirely in tank) Reticent but pure aromas of white peach and lime blossom. Fresh and energetic, with lovely ripe acidity framing and intensifying the white peach, citrus, mint and mineral flavors. Very suave and silky but strong. Finishes with a firm peach flavor. Prior to 2005, this wine was aged entirely in barriques but Servin concluded that it sucked up the oak too quickly. "Clos and Bougros express the oak better," he noted. I like the new style.
($65; 100% barrel) Exotic stone fruits and spicy oak on the nose. Sweet pineapple and mirabelle flavors are kept in check by a firm spine of acidity. Rich, concentrated and powerful grand cru but tightly wound today and not yet expressing itself. This rather musclebound wine will require bottle aging.
($70) Pale yellow. Subtle aromas of spices, minerals and mirabelle Juicy and tightly wound, with a restrained sweetness and lovely tension to the yellow fruit flavors. This, too, boasts considerable power, but here the grain is more refined and less glyceral than the Bougros. The best of these 2006s, but in need of four or five years of cellaring.
($21) Bright lemon-yellow color. Sexy nose melds peach, wet stone and menthol, with a minty lift. Broad, rich and rather young for village wine, with lemon and spice notes and a slightly exotic aspect. Finishes with good juicy intensity and grip. Very good, nuanced village wine.
($30) Pale yellow. Exotic nose hints at apple, oatmeal and earth; less fruity than the village offering. Then flinty, stony, dry and tight, currently hiding its underlying richness. Ultimately grew fresher with aeration, but the nose could use more verve.
($31) Subdued aromas of pineapple and crushed stone. Quite dry and tight, even austere, with suggestions of wet stone. I find this lean and compressed for young Montee de Tonnerre, lacking in flesh. Is this in an awkward stage?
($24; bottled unfiltered for the U.S. importer) Enticing nose offers pineapple, wet stone and good limey lift. Dense, round, rich and sweet, with a juicy pineapple flavor leavening its rich, tactile mouth feel. Much more open and sexy today than the Montee de Tonnerre, with more fruit showing.
($31; the first vintage for this bottling; done half in barrel and half in tank) Bright yellow. Ripe aromas of pineapple, orange and spice. Juicy, fat and ripe, with good grip to the sweet flavors of spicy yellow fruits. A bit youthfully unforthcoming today and less silky than the Pargues but the oak is nicely integrated. Finishes with lingering notes of pineapple and stone.
($65; all done in tank) Full yellow. Pineapple and flint on the nose, plus exotic, perfumed notes of fruit syrup and passion fruit. Big, broad and rich, offering considerable volume. A real fruit bomb today, even if it tightened up somewhat with aeration. Finishes suave, clean and long, offering a nice combination of power and subtlety.
($70; this started in barrel and was finished in tank) Stunted nose hints at honey and pineapple. Rich, fat and sweet, with distinctly exotic and very expressive fruit flavors supported by solid underlying minerality. This dense, thick wine has just enough ripe acidity to maintain its shape. Boasts terrific fruit but I would not describe this as Chablis-typical.
($70) Very ripe aromas of pineapple, peach pit, crushed stone and spicy oak. Juicy and firmly minerally but not hard, with dominant flavors of apple, pineapple and spices. Densely packed but a bit youthfully aggressive and in need of time in bottle. Conveys a drier impression than the Blanchots or Preuses but the wine's inner-palate verve and rising finish make it the most classic of these 2005s.