WineSmith Napa Valley Faux Chablis 3-Pack
Sold by: Winston Winery
$59.99 $138.00 57% off List Price
2005 WineSmith Napa Valley Faux Chablis, Student Vineyard, Napa Valley College
People often ask me what kind of wines I make, and I’ve taken to answering “I specialize in impossible wines.” Sulfite-free Cab Franc aged five years in old oak and breathed for two weeks. Light, delicate Pinot Noir aged eight years in old oak.
But nothing I’ve made was more impossible in so many ways as this Napa Chardonnay that explores a completely different possibility for the region. Just that a wine so different from the normally encountered high-alcohol-oaky-toasty-butter-bomb is startling enough. That a wine grown on a simple sandy loam could acquire the intense minerality usually associated with limestone is also sort of unbelievable.
But what tops all these impossibilities is that the Faux Chablis series, and there were six vintages of them, require over a decade in the bottle to be drinkable, and then blossom into a serenade of lemon oil and complex yeastiness still completely fresh and straw green in color.
I’ve sold a lot of Faux Chablis on this site, beginning four years ago with the WineSmith Double Dare. This four pack dared you to believe that a ten-year old Chardonnay could still be worth drinking, and double dared you to buy two bottles of the 2004, which at nine years of age still wasn’t ready!
You guys were great, and bought eighty cases of this offering. That’s when I knew that wooters were something special.
I hope some of you who have enjoyed the series will chime in with reviews. Meantime, I’ve got a groaning board of sushi here to keep me company whist we chat.
Please check out my video which describes the project: [youtube=dRwtTTIG6tg][/youtube]
Hey Clark! I sent you a PM and an email (regarding a different offer) but never heard back from you.
I am hardly a connoisseur, but I have bought enough wine on Woot to realize a nugget of wisdom, to wit:
When WineSmith sells any 200X wine on Woot, one must buy. Yes, this covers pretty much all of his wines. Yes, Clark’s wines are that good.
Going back to my notes from last October, I enjoyed the 2005 vintage of this wine. Since I have two more and an overflowing back room, though, I can’t justify another 3 of these.
The rest of you, however, should keep on buying Clark’s great wines!
Lemon and minerality/limestone? Reminds me of Tenor Chardonnay. I’m in.
I do think it’s interesting that the Chardonnays in Southern Napa have this lemon oil aroma so similar to Chablis, as opposed to the apple and pear we see in other areas such as Sonoma or the Pineapple you get in the Central Coast or in Lodi. Most of the time in Napa, the oak and malolactic aromas get so much in the way that you really can’t tall what the grape character might be.
I wrote a whole chapter in my book, Postmodern Winemaking on the subject of minerality (I’m not talking about the aroma of wet stone, but rather an energetic buzz in the finish similar to acidity.) We don’t know what causes this, but I think it’s very important. We see it with wines grown on limestone, schist (all Portuguese ports), slate and decomposed granite. In this case, we believe it’s the living soil we generated by laying off the pesticides and herbicides, letting the weeds go crazy.
The theory is that when you get the earthworms going, mychorrhizal fungi can thrive. The neat thing we discovered is that in Napa, unlike cooler regions, these tender fungi can overwinter because the ground doesn’t freeze.
As a result, in the Faux Chablis series, the wines have gotten increasingly minerally each year, and the release dates have delayed every year, which means I get gapped and often have had no wine to sell. I just don’t like to release these wines until they’re ready.
Bought this when it was included in the Winesmith Mystery pack with the Crucible being what I was interested in. Surprisingly the Faux Chablis was the wife’s favorite. I also thought it was great. We aren’t white/oaky Chardonnay fans so this is a huge compliment from me. You will not be disappointed in this wine.
If only it were true. I am a great lover of Chablis, but this is not it. I am surprised at the gushing comments. I ordered before, so hopeful I ordered the max amount. Some bottles corked, the others not really drinkable. Some lemon, yes, but utterly flat – no acidity or minerality, at least not for me. Poured most of it out. I’m sure I’ll get flamed by the “tribe” and told I know nothing, but thought I should share my unbiased opinion. Save your money, take your $20/bottle and buy a real Chablis.
Not sure it’s allowed but what would you say is a real Chablis at $20 ?
A good question. Many Chablis producers have strayed from the traditional style and can be over-oaked or buttery in an attempt to appeal to the California norm. The most reliable is William Fevre. That’s who I try to emulate.
Good Lord. I can’t imagine what went haywire with your package. Perhaps a shipping catastrophe. I tend to run extremely low on corkiness due to the special process I installed at Lafitte Cork and Capsule using ozone and low humidity.
Let’s PM and determine a way to make this right for you.
Clark, I’ve still got several of your 2004 and 2005 Faux Chablis from previous woots. Would they benefit from further aging or should I drink ASAP?
My apologies to the current thread but to answer your question…Gilbert Picq
You probably truly did get damaged bottles. I ordered the mixed pack when it came up, but was accidentally sent a bottle of penny farthing chardonnay instead of this wine, so don’t have any personal experience, but I ordered my mother a pack of the faux (she’s a avid chard lover)and she gave it rave reviews. Regarding other chablis, I will probably butcher the name, but I really like the 2015 Roland lavanturuex
Jean-Marc Brocard, for example goes for around that. You can pay more, of course, depending on vintage. And as mentioned, William Fevre is another good one in that price range.
I really don’t know the answer to this. It’s not entirely uncharted territory, since the 2001 and 2002 are still holding up nicely, though they’ve softened quite a bit. Let’s put it this way: These two wines are probably as good right now as they are going to get. No rush, but I’d be thinking that drinking soon is a reasonable idea.
One of our “Kid’s” sent me a box of Live Maine Lobster’s for Fathers Day!!! So I rummaged through the limited supply of white’s we have to come up with something. Hiding on the bottom behind a 2011 Magnum of J. Bookwalter was a bottle of 2004 Faux Chablis that I’m sure we already drank, but no, it’s nice to be wrong sometimes.
It paired excellent with the sea salt/seaweed steamed (humanly treated) Lobsters, served with lightly browned butter. The lemony, mineraly, yeastiness of this wine was a match made in heaven. Not to mention the color is wonderful.
So of course I ordered more, gotta support Clark, thanks for all those Great Wine’s!!
PS/FWIW: Don’t drink it Ice Cold, you’ll miss ½ of the Greatness of this wine.