This tasting was a revisit of the June 2004 comparison of the wines of Chablis. We must be getting a whole lot better at this, because this time, our notes were much more expressive and detailed. Or, the wines themselves exhibited that much more personality (or a little of both).
Chablis is the home of (mostly) unoaked Chardonnay in a relatively northern part of France, and these wines generally exhibited good verve and expression of place.
Natalie continued her excellent run as a guest taster.
First Place: Albert Bichot Domaine Long-Depaquit Chablis 2005. Tasters detected apples, blueberry pancakes, baking soda, plums, honeysuckle, honeydew, cantaloupe, and muskmelon on the nose. Tasted ripe, showing red apples, herbs, perfume, and flowers. Candied, bold finish, with hints of yeast. Smooth texture, with good balance. The women found the texture a little too strong, but the men at the table loved the finish and had no complaints. Natalie noted "fermented honey at the end". Received 24 points. David's bottle. About $25.
Second Place: Frederic Gueguen Petit Chablis 2006. Fresh aromas, suggesting peaches, paté, liver, dust, bubble gum, and citrus. Ali felt it was a "golden sunshine smell" and Natalie noted that "this is what your fabric softener wants to smell like". Very pleasant in the mouth; builds after a weak attack, with citrus flavors moving to green onion. Pretty, tart, exhibiting granny smith apple, green apple jolly rancher notes on the finish. Received 19 points. Ali's bottle. About $19.
Third Place: Joseph Drouhin Chablis-Sechers Premier Cru 2005. Very yellow in color. Clove, honey, raspberry, ripe red fruit, mineral, and chalk scents. Inviting. Hints of green mango, pear, and cranberry. Natalie described it as "demure", and David added that it was "not the P-Diddy of wine". Tart citrus, white grapefruit, burnt honey, and a dark character on mid-palate, suggesting green olives. Reminded Natalie of Christmas. Spicy/herbal flavors on the finish, that are clean and pleasant. Received 17 points. Andy's bottle. About $50 originally, but purchased for $25 on sale.
Frederic Prain Domaine d'Elise Chablis 2008. A little funk on this one aromatically. Ali felt that "this one smells like warm champagne to me". Campbell's chicken noodle soup, ocean water, salt, chickareena, white mushroom, margarine, bitter green lettuce, celery, and kale aromas. Ali noted "Kale to the Chief". Hints of flowers and bubble gum. Champagne and green apples on the palate. Bright acidity reminded Andy of a "tongue battery test", and Natalie said, "It's stimulating my saliva". Briney. Andy thought of it as a "special ops wine". Received 10 points. Kristin's bottle. About $21.
Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat Saint-Pierre Chablis 2005. David immediately said, "Ew, oh God" after smelling this one, while other tasters found smoked bacon, urine, celery, and smoked mozzarella. Andy detected "new shoe rubber", while David was reminded of "sweaty sock". Natalie felt it was like "brushing by a tomato plant" or something "industrial". Kristin noted "janitor closet" and "skunk", and Ali found "sweaty person who had lots of onions the night before", as well as "caramelized onions in the fridge". A bit sour in the mouth, with flavors of lake water, pink grapefruit, dead fish, and red delicious apples. Andy noted "Pop Rocks", while David wondered, "What's that on the finish? Can you get me some bread?" This is the most repulsed David has ever been at a tasting. Finish reminds Ali of uncooked squash or zucchini. Kristin described it as "vile", and Andy said, "it really is a dead wine". David was convinced this bottle was tainted by a bad cork. No points. Natalie's bottle. About $28.