Yes, "painfully intense" is a good thing. A very good thing.
Chablis, more than any other region, can push writers over the edge in search of that perfect phrase to describe the essentially indescribable. It's not by accident that both Alan Meadows and Steve Tanzer use the phrase "painfully intense" to describe the 2007 Forest, and we tip our hats to their efforts. Their tasting notes really grapple with what makes great Chablis so absolutely riveting. (Both are reproduced, in full, below.)
The Burghound writes of "citrus, oyster shell and algea" while Tanzer basically flips out: "Like sucking on a mouthful of rocks. Leaves a coating of dusty stone behind on the palate that's hard to scrape off."
This is a special bottle. The 2007 Vincent Dauvissat 1er Cru "La Forest" represents everything we love about the vintage and the region. It boasts a quivering acidity, with a power and definition we haven't experienced since the 2004s were released. Yet the 2007s have more weight and depth, the edges are rounder with chewier fruit that adds another dimension to an already just silly core of minerality, the whole "sucking on a mouthful of rocks" thing.
This is the essence of the awesome 2007 vintage in Chablis. As Meadows himself writes: "If you enjoy almost aggressively classic, old school Chablis, then buy 2007."
Vincent Dauvissat himself says that 2007 was a "miraculous and completely unexpected vintage." A dreary and rainy summer, filled with hail storms and cool temperatures was saved by a windy and sunny September. Those like Dauvissat who were patient in picking watched as the winds dried out the rot-threatened grapes while the fruit concentrated and the acidity stayed brilliantly vibrant turning a vintage that was destined for disaster into one of the greatest Chablis vintages of this new century - perhaps the greatest, though only time will tell.
The 2007 Dauvissat La Forest is THE value bottling for collectible, world class Chablis. At as low as $50 it represents the top of the hierarchy at a reasonable price. No, this is not a paltry sum, but side by side with the prices that the great 1er Crus of Raveneau are fetching, it sure seems like it.
The '07 La Forest is also a testimony to the fact that Vincent Dauvissat is unquestionably at the top of the pyramid in Chablis -- it boasts a stunningly pure nose of ocean air, Meyer lemons and enough granite to keep a quarry in business. As Tanzer alludes, stones are continually thrown on the palate as the wine flexes muscles of concentrated and vibrant yellow fruits all held together by a very strong acidic backbone. And have no doubt, this wine is still an absolute infant, perhaps even just a very compelling zygote - a bottle that will develop extraordinarily well for a long time, 5 to 10 years and beyond.
Today's parcel; though sizeable given the rarity of Dauvissat, is also priced very sharply. Combine the pricing with the buzz over 2007 Chablis, and it's easy to see that we will almost assuredly be sold out by (Fri)day's end. Collectors and mineral junkies are already dialing the phones and hitting reply to order up. Please call (212) 980-9463 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to order.
Have a great weekend!
Director of Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits
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Burghound: "A cool, reserved and sophisticated nose based on the mineral reduction that is so prevalent in classically styled Chablis along with citrus, oyster shell and algae notes, all of which continue onto the almost painfully intense flavors supported by a vibrant, firm and explosive finish that goes on and on. I really like the beautiful underlying tension that gives the finish a real sense of energy and the balance here is essentially perfect. Note that this is very young and primary but possesses excellent cellar potential."
Tanzer's IWC: "Pale yellow. High-pitched aromas of crushed stone, quinine, fennel and flint. Almost painfully intense and uncompromising, with steely yellow fruit and crushed rock flavors conveying an impression of volume without any weight. Like sucking on a mouthful of rocks. Leaves a coating of dusty stone behind on the palate that's hard to scrape off: this seems even stronger after you swallow it! A stunning premier cru that seems destined for a long and graceful evolution in bottle."
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