Ever on the lookout for value in Burgundy, this gem from Domaine Savary has become a staple wine of mine. Hands down the best deal in Burgundy every year, red or white. Olivier Savary and wife Francine have been making Chablis since 1984, initially selling off most of the fruit in bulk. By 1990 they had started bottling their own wine from thet now 17 hectares of vines and had made quite an impression on none other than Jean-Marie Raveneau who introduced Olivier to Kermit Lynch who's been importing the wine ever since. Sons Maxime and Mathieu have since joined the business and now ensure a bright future for the domaine.
The 2017 vintage in Chablis is another in a seemingly endless run of low yielding, no-yielding for a few very unfortunate growers, vintages in a region that's always been on a climatical knifes edge regarding viticulture anyway. I was in Chablis in early April last year when growers were all nervously commenting on one of the earliest bud breaks in recent memory, well before the Ice Saints days of mid-May which typically mark the end of the risk of spring frosts. Sure enough, by April 17 or 18th the frost arrived and continued for 10 nights or so running. There was much devastation, more in the northern bits of the appellation than anywhere else, and some growers declared a total loss. Everyone suffered greatly at any rate and once again, not much wine to go around. The good news is that 2017's are very much on point and a classic cut from the same cloth as the great 2014's. These are the vein-chillingly pure, flinty Chardonnays Chablis is famous for.
Back to racy, mineral terroir Chardonnay after the sluggish, warm vintage 2015's and significantly better but still not-quite-there 2016's, 2017 is going to be a vintage to chase downing with yields this low it won't be easy. Savary's Petit Chablis is from vines planted alongside his Chablis AC vines and it's virtually indistinct from that wine, except for the price tag. This is the real thing. Brilliant stony mineral and lemon/lime notes with white flowers and crushed rock on the nose. Lemon zest and green apple with hints of lemon curd on the palate. Long, dense mineral finish. Just astounding quality for the money. This will go quick and there will be no more after this. Just 48 bottles available.