OK, I get it now. The whole key with great Chablis is to not try too hard to “get it.”
For years, I had heard talk of the ineffable nature of Burgundy’s wines, usually applied to the reds but sometimes to Chablis. There’s a whole lotta waxing about the profoundand alluring nature of the best wines from that part of the world, the way each sip almost raises more questions than it answers.
Thanks to generous friends, I have enjoyed some wonderful Chablis in recent years, mostly from William Fevre, Joseph Drouhin and Gilbert Picq. They were racy and tangy and tasty, by and large, evoking the bivalve-laden soil (above) from whence they sprang.
These were enjoyable, inspiring and occasionally fascinating wines, provocative — but never profound. Until last night.
My friend Larry served cool stuff all night, starting with a firm, focused Gaston Cliquet Brut 2000 and finishing with two ancient but still very much alive reds, a 1975 Joseph Phelps Napa Cab and a 1971 Cos D’Estournel.
Amidst all that came a 2007 Vincent Dauvissat Grand Cru “Les Preuses” Chablis. Clean but complex, the very definition of perfect minerality, erotic and enigmatic, it provided one of those “now this is wine” moments. Actually, several of them as it evolved inscrutably and I strived mightily not to gulp.
Fortuitously, I decided not to talk or even think this profound liquid it to death, or at all. Rather than trying to figure it out, I somehow had the good sense to say “take me, I’m yours.”