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2015 Chablis 1er Cru “Fourchaume”

Domaine Savary

2015 Chablis 1er Cru “Fourchaume” Domaine Savary - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
When I asked around about the origin of the name Fourchaume, I expected to hear the notion of a four, or “oven” in French, given the sun-drenched exposure of the slope, and chaume, meaning the vegetation growing on the scraggy slope between the vines, used for making the traditional thatched roofs in the area. Such a derivation would make sense, given that Fourchaume is celebrated for combining the local Kimmeridgian minerality with an uncommon unctuousness and concentration. Savary likes to drive home the point and show the depth of his Fourchaume by serving it with foie gras, with which it pairs perfectly.
       As to the name of the cru, I was surprised to discover that it’s actually derived from fourches à homme, meaning literally “pitchfork of man.” The local lord in medieval times had installed three tall wooden pillars on that slope, invoking the shape of a pitchfork to the locals, which he would use for public hangings. The altitude of the slope and its exposure to the neighboring villages made it an ideal spot to leave the corpses dangling as a constant and vivid reminder of who’s in charge. Fourchaume seems to be a cru of many surprises. The 2015 is fresh and perfumed, with hints of finely sliced lemons and crushed oyster shells. What more could you ask of your Chablis? Perfect balance? A delicious finish? Sure, it’s got all that, too, and more.

Chris Santini

Vintage: 2015
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Chardonnay
Appellation: Chablis
Country: France
Region: Burgundy
Producer: Domaine Savary
Winemaker: Olivier Savary
Vineyard: 30 years, 0.75 ha
Soil: Kimmeridgian Limestone
Aging: Wine is aged on fine lees
Farming: Traditional
Alcohol: 12.5%

More from this Producer or Region

About Burgundy

In eastern central France, Burgundy is nestled between the wine regions of Champagne to the north, the Jura to the east, the Loire to the west, and the Rhône to the south. This is the terroir par excellence for producing world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The southeast-facing hillside between Dijon in the north and Maranges in the south is known as the Côte d’Or or “golden slope.” The Côte d’Or comprises two main sections, both composed of limestone and clay soils: the Côte de Nuits in the northern sector, and the Côte de Beaune in the south. Both areas produce magnificent whites and reds, although the Côte de Beaune produces more white wine and the Côte de Nuits more red.

Chablis is Burgundy’s northern outpost, known for its flinty and age-worthy Chardonnays planted in Kimmeridgian limestone on an ancient seabed. Vézelay is a smaller area south of Chablis with similar qualities, although the limestone there is not Kimmeridgian.

To the south of the Côte de Beaune, the Côte Chalonnaise extends from Chagny on its northern end, down past Chalon-sur-Saône and encompasses the appellations of Bouzeron in the north, followed by Rully, Mercurey, Givry, and Montagny.

Directly south of the Chalonnaise begins the Côte Mâconnais, which extends south past Mâcon to the hamlets of Fuissé, Vinzelles, Chaintré, and Saint-Véran. The Mâconnais is prime Chardonnay country and contains an incredible diversity of soils.

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For the wines that I buy I insist that the winemaker leave them whole, intact. I go into the cellars now and select specific barrels or cuvées, and I request that they be bottled without stripping them with filters or other devices. This means that many of our wines will arrive with a smudge of sediment and will throw a more important deposit as time goes by, It also means the wine will taste better.


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