Friday, June 17, 2016

Chardonnay In Chablis: Premier Cru

A recent Twitter gathering of Chablis lovers took place, with some wine writers invited to join in the fun with samples provided. I was there, hashtagging #PureChablis. The samples were great examples of what Chardonnay, in Chablis can offer. I don't know if you can really go wrong by simply ordering "Chablis," with no other information given. If you have had trouble in that area, I'd love to know about it. My thoughts on the wines follow comments from some of the other participants.

One Twitter Taster branded Chablis as, "Wonderful elegant white wines from France," which the Chablis people must be happy with. Another posted that "most people in the 'ABC Club' usually find their way out by way of #Chablis," referring to the blinkered 'Anything But Chardonnay' crowd. What’s good about it and why? "Nowhere else produces Chardonnay like Chablis: vines grow on prehistoric sea, w/ saline geology."

Chablis, owing to its fresh acidity and flinty flavor profile, is a great wine to have with brunch. Have it with breakfast if you want, I’m not going to judge. It pairs great with eggs and croissants, in addition to the usual shellfish and sushi. Try it with guacamole and chips. Your football Sunday will never be the same.

The French phrase Premier Cru refers, in Burgundy, to a classified vineyard, the second-highest such ranking, just below grand cru.

Chablis Premier Cru, William Fèvre, Fourchaume, 2013

There’s a lovely nose here, light oak, citrus, tropical, everything under control. The palate is wildly fruity and the acidity is fresh, everything just right. If this were from one of the best vineyards in California, would I be more impressed than when it’s from one of the best vineyards in Burgundy? I don’t know. In California the wine would probably be bigger. Or lighter. One or the other. I’m just going to stop worrying about it and enjoy. There’s plenty to enjoy.

Chablis Premier Cru, Domaine Fourrey, Côte de Léchet, 2013

This one has a greenish tint and an absolutely amazing minerality on the nose - wet rocks, limes, seashore - it’s beautiful. The same goes for the palate - minerals, minerals, minerals. There is a Meyer lemon note at mid-palate that goes right through the finish. This is a lean Chardonnay, and one that will hit the right notes with oysters. On the virtual tasting event, one commenter chirped that the wine was :going to pair so well w/my Moroccan chicken for dinner tonight." And I'm sure it did.

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