The why, the what and the how of...
Domaine William Fèvre
The name William Fèvre has become synonymous with Chablis and today is arguably one of its greatest domaines. From humble beginnings in 1957 with a mere 7 hectares, William Fèvre soon procured some of the best premiers and grands crus in Chablis.
Following Fèvre’s retirement in 1998, the domaine was purchased by the Champagne house, Joseph Henriot, but retained its original name. The talented Didier Séguier is the cellar master, an alumnus of the well-known Beaune domaine, Bouchard Père et Fils. All of Fèvre’s vineyards are harvested by hand which is quite a task given that this includes 12 hectares of premiers crus and no less than 16 hectares of grands crus.
Abandoning the previous owner’s fondness of new oak, Séguier has reduced the use of wood overall to just 30% for premiers crus and no more than 50% for the grands crus. New oak has been completely abandoned and Didier’s links to his alma mater ensure a steady supply of one year-old barrels. The average age of Fèvre’s barrels is around five years.
Wooded wine components are blended with the unwooded counterparts after the various stages of maturation: 8-10 months for village, 10-13 months for premier cru and 12-15 months for grand cru. Once blended, the wine is bottled creating a classic Chablis – lean, linear and mineral.