Raveneau, Dauvissat and Who? 2010 Chablis: "Nothing Short of Sensational"

Posted by Ian McFadden

"Nothing Short of Sensational"
2010 Piuze Chablis Grand Cru Valmur
Lowest Price in the Nation

"This is a textbook, not to mention breathtakingly good, example of a fine Valmur. Buy it." -Burghound

We could just end the email here; this offer would probably sell out.The Burghound quote, above, is shocking - rarely does he make such emphatic buying recommendations.

Yet nothing about the ascent of Patrick Piuze has been common. In only his third year making wine under his eponymous label, Piuze has already entered a very, very elite level of winemaking.

Comparing Piuze to Raveneau and Dauvissat seems almost too easy, but that doesn't mean this comparison isn't apt - it is. Qualitatively and stylistically, there are simply no other comparisons. As with both of these legendary producers, the style of Piuze is about texture and weight married to a shocking clarity, a pristine and seamless presentation of marine-infused minerality.

And perhaps no other site shows off this amazing purity better than Valmur. If Clos is the blockbuster site, Valmur is for the diehard rockheads, for mineral freaks, for purists. Valmur has all the depth and concentration of Clos in a more delineated, more agile frame.

Valmur is also, in our opinion, the greatest value in the Piuze arsenal; expect Piuze's Clos in 2010 to be $100 or more. Comparing Piuze's wines to Dauvissat's ($100+ for Clos or Preuses) or Raveneau's ($400+ for Clos and $200+ for Valmur) puts the value in another, perhaps even more compelling, context.

The 2008 vintage was Piuze's first; it was released to huge acclaim about a year and a half ago. Since then his reputation has only grown and 2010 may be something of a watershed. Take heed of the Burghound’s words: "the quality levels he has achieved are nothing short of sensational given that 2010 is only his third vintage and that he is buying in fruit."

Patrick Piuze

If you're paying attention than you noted something important in that last Burghound quote: Piuze is buying his fruit, though this is hardly "negociant" in any traditional understanding of that term. Piuze has worked in Chablis for over a decade with the likes of Verget and Brocard before going out on his own.This decade in Chablis exposed him intimately to every vineyard in the region and essentially every grower tending them.

Piuze personally oversees all of the vineyards from which he buys fruit and keeps a careful watch over the growers to make sure they’re maintaining his exacting standards. If there’s a case where the fruit doesn’t measure up to his strict demands, it’s sold off - no matter what kind of profit he could very easily still make. If this sounds like marketing hoopla the fact is that, already, Piuze has made very hard decisions: Piuze fanatics will likely know there is no 09 Clos for this very reason.

Once the grapes arrive in the small winery (see the picture above), Piuze makes NO tweaks to the wines EVER: no chaptalizing, no acidifying, no enzymes, no new wood, no filtering. The wines are utterly pure, "completely unadorned classically styled" as the Burghound puts it.

Piuze himself insists that "the only thing truly original in the world of wine is the underlying terroir and I have nothing else interesting to add. Anyone can copy anyone else's techniques so what else is there to make great wines? I believe the answer is simple: Terroir. I want to work only with the fruit from old vines and even then, only old vines that are planted exclusively within the original boundaries of Chablis. If I respect these things, it will be almost impossible to make bad wine."

It will be interesting to see what the landscape of Chablis looks like in 20 years - the region is officially on the up-and-up, with a lot of new names investing in land and making excellent wine here - and today's bottles seem destined to become highly coveted cellar treasures. There was a time, you may remember, when Raveneau's Clos was fairly available at $100 or less. No longer.

Again, we haven't been able to keep up with the building demand for these wines, and we expect today's offer to go very quickly. Give us your maximum order now as we are making allocations tonight.

To order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

2010 Patrick Piuze Chablis Grand Cru Valmur