The 2018 Francine Bachelier Fourchaume Premier Cru Chablis pays tribute to Fourchaume’s renowned terroir and Francine Bachelier’s acumen in fashioning exceptional Premier Cru Chablis. The 2018 vintage in Chablis has been called “one for the ages” and “a once in a century vintage.” It yielded fleshy, well-endowed Chablis with Francine Bachelier’s 2018 Fourchaume Premier Cru offering seductive scents of acacia flowers and ripe orchard fruits along with exceptional concentration and a pleasing minerality born of Fourchaume’s distinctive Kimmeridgian soil. In the mouth, the wine’s pure, ripe, un-adulterated fruit shines through, while playing in perfect harmony with Chablis’ flinty minerality. Fresh, long, and complex, the generously structured 2018 Domaine Francine Bachelier Fourchaume Premier Cru Chablis drinks well now, yet should offer exceptional drinking pleasure for at least another four or five years. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest affording Domaine Francine Bachelier’s 2018 Fourchaume Premier Cru a moderate chill (40°-45° F) before allowing it to unfold gently in the glass. Although it goes down ever so easily, we found taking time to sip and savor this superb Chablis pays handsome rewards. And Premier Cru Chablis, like a fine red wine, benefits from a bit of aeration in order to reveal all of its charm. Anticipated maturity: 2021-2025. Enjoy!
Given that the wines of Chablis are grown in Kimmeridgian soil atop an ancient sea bed, it should come as no surprise that the fruits of the sea provide a vast array of gastronomic delights to pair with Francine Bachelier’s 2018 Fourchaume Premier Cru Chablis. Shellfish in particular earns high marks with this Chablis Premier Cru. Steamed lobster and King crab legs served with drawn butter provide especially tasty pairings. Raw, roasted, steamed or sautéed oysters, clams, and mussels provide equally impressive accompaniments. However, pan seared scallops with almond and mushroom duxelle earn high praise, too, as does salmon, grilled on a cedar plank. Caviar offers yet another impressive marriage. However, as exquisite as seafood can be, the wonders of the sea don’t constitute the only suitable partners for this domain’s wine. Chicken and simply prepared game birds served in light creamy sauces also offer splendid accompaniments to the 2018 Francine Bachelier Fourchaume Premier Cru Chablis. Bon Appétit!
Domaine Francine Bachelier possesses outstanding vineyards that lie in the very heart of Chablis among the gently sloping hills of Maligny. It is a small estate where the Savary/Bachelier family makes classic un-oaked Chablis that aptly reflects the traditional style of the Chablis as well as the distinct terroir of Maligny. Ideally, this means bright, shimmering Chablis with a greenish gold robe that offers an ethereal fragrance, a mouthful of racy fruit with flinty highlights, and a long crisp finish. Yet, in unusually warm vintages, the wines of Domaine Francine Bachelier can also take on fleshy, corpulent characteristics that can best be described as plush and velvety, not to mention hedonistically delightful. But no matter the gifts or vagaries of the vintage, Domaine Francine Bachelier’s Chablis captures the freshness and unique pleasure that only authentic Chablis can provide.
In addition to producing excellent appellation Chablis, Domaine Francine Bachelier fashions tiny amounts of exquisite Premier Cru Chablis from the renowned Premier Cru vineyards of Vaillons and Fourchaume. The 2018 Bachelier Fourchaume Premier Cru Chablis hails from Chablis’ most lauded Premier Cru and is this month’s feature. All of Domaine Bachelier’s Chablis wines emanate from the unique, chalky, limestone-rich Kimmeridgian soil that has made French Chablis, the only authentic Chablis, world-renowned.
Chablis is a distinct part of Burgundy as well as one of the world’s finest white wines. Since the 12th century when Cistercian monks introduced Chardonnay into the region, the name Chablis has been synonymous with outstanding white wine. No wonder then so many generations of California producers tacked the name Chablis onto their inferior generic wines, hoping to elevate their wines in the eyes of consumers.
Today, all authentic Chablis is derived exclusively from Chardonnay grapes that are grown in Chablis’ chalky, limestone-rich soil known as Kimmeridgian. The name Kimmeridgian is in reference to an identical landmass that scientists identified in England’s Kimmeridge Bay. Chablis possesses one of the world’s greatest terroirs for the cultivation of white grapes; the Chablis appellation (A.O.C.) sits upon what was once the floor of an ancient sea bed dating from the Second Jurassic Period (also known as Kimmeridgian) that now feeds the region’s Chardonnay vines. Because of this special terroir, Chablis yields unique, dry, mineral-rich wines of considerable finesse and flavor.
The French National Institute of Appellation d’Origine Controlée (A.O.C.) recognizes four distinct areas of Chablis: Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru, and Chablis Grand Cru. All offer the taster a unique experience and increasingly superior quality and value at every level. In total, all four districts of Chablis cover just 7,000 hectares (15,400 acres). The best parcels typically occupy the region’s hillsides, making Chablis’ choice Premier Cru and Grand Cru vineyards the most apt to produce the region’s finest, most complex wines. Premier and Grand Cru Chablis also possess a propensity to age well in the bottle, often as long as a decade or more.
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