Wednesday, March 23, 2011
I've been a fan of Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis for a long time now, and I usually like his Vaulorent Premier Cru.
Found this at a particularly good price, and it was a good vintage, so I figured it was a great deal.
Sadly, it really wasn't.
It was pleasant enough, and nothing was "wrong" with it...but I expect more than pleasant enough from a good Chablis. I expect outstanding.
As a Chablis AOC, this would likely have been fine. But it wasn't, It was a Chablis Premier Cru, and that raises expectations.
The essential nature of Chablis was there---the clean, unwooded lines of Chardonnay---but it was pro forma and lacking in focus and grip and anything that would distinguish it as wine from an exceptional site.
There was a vague sense of citrus fruit, but no definable or distinctive elements within that generic description. There was little to no liveliness or vivacity that I expect from Chablis Premier Cru, and no perceptible depth or dimension either. No minerality, no oyster shells, no salty breeze in the nose---really, none of the things that I look for in Chablis Premier Cru.
I'll hasten to add---before the legion of wine geeks suggest that I overlooked this aspect---that I considered this may be in a 'closed' phase. Been known to occur in Burgundies, and definitely in Chablis. But that wasn't it. The wine wasn't closed up or hiding in its shell. Just not much there there. I'd like to be generous and say the wine will blossom out within a few years...but I really don't expect it will.
I say this with reservation---as mentioned, I've been a fan of Brocard for a while...but this one just didn't make the cut. Doesn't mean I'm off Brocard. One wine does not a legend make or break, and I'd have to have more misses than hits, and Brocard still leads with many hits. So I'll go back and try other Brocard Chablis and hope this was just a one-off.