Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Gilbert Picq Chablis, 2000

Gilbert Picq Chablis was well priced during the late 1990s, and I bought several cases of the village Chablis, the Vieux Vignes and the Premier Cru Vaucoupin and Vosgros. The wines were wonderful in their youth and seemed to have what it takes to age at least 10 to 15 years. Unfortunately, a good number of these wines, even the Premier Crus, started to show signs of oxidation at about 9 to 10 years of age, eventually becoming virtually undrinkable. I chalked it up to the "premox" phenomenon that spoiled a large number of highly regarded white Burgundy wines.

Whether the premature oxidation was caused by corks, poor storage or whatever, it did not extend into the 21st century. This 2000 Chablis is precisely what I expected the 1996 to become--a beautiful unoaked version of Chardonnay that typifies the Chablis appellation. Flinty is the usual term applied to Chablis; drink this wine, and you'll know why. Distinctive mineral, wet stone bouquet and flavors--I love it. Lemon, green apple--plenty of acid--but also the sweetness of hard candy. You can find new facets in this wine with every sip.

Gilbert Picq wines can no longer be obtained for $10 to $12 a bottle as they were in the late 1990s, but they are well worth the $20+ now being charged. This is wonderful old-style Chablis. Whatever happened to the wines from 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 is a crying shame. I suspect now that it was poor storage and transportation.

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