Durup via Tanners and Palmers
Durup Chablis Premier Cru Fourchaume
First things first - at just about two years from harvest date, drinking a Premier Cru Chablis feels like oenological infanticide. It's little more than a barrel sample at this stage and, despite drinking very nicely, a long way from being the wine it has the potential to become.
It's like seeing Daniel Radcliffe's screen test for Harry Potter or being in the crowd at a Quarrymen gig; you might well be in the presence of greatness, but you may not necessarily realise it at the time.
Chablis is one of the great wines of the world; there really is nothing else quite like it, due to its combination of soil type, climate, aspect and winemaking. If you were looking for somewhere to make wine now, you wouldn't choose Chablis. It's too high risk and too much hard work.
But the best wine is often made in the most marginal areas and the challenges of Chablis are also its greatness.
I love Chablis - for both its incomparable style and its taut, linear focus. Yes, it's completely illogical, but the difficulty in making it is also part of what makes it so great.
And as you move up the quality scale to Premier Cru and Grand Cru, the lifespan and years to maturity also increase.
Durup Chablis Premier Cru Fourchaume 2018 (£26.50, Tanners, Palmers Wine Store) golden green with a restrained nose of white flowers and honeysuckle; fresh orchard and white stone fruits, lime marmalade, honey, white pepper and minerality; supple, concentrated and long. Very elegant and poised.
Improves with aeration and, whilst drinking very nicely now, will continue to improve with cellaring.
Match with young white cheese, smoked mackerel pâté or pork rilettes.
Some further Chablis food matches from Fiona Beckett.