The Art of Chablis
Chablis, many of you would be familiar with this name, but may not know the significance behind the wine or its place of origin. Chablis is a winegrowing region in the north eastern part of Burgundy; it is a white wine that offers a mineral quality and freshness that is only associated with Chablis. Why? It is a direct reflection of the character of this region, in particular its Kimmeridgean soils with its marine fossils which lends itself to the minerality, evoking sea-like aromas. Very few, if no other region, can produce something like this.
The grape Chardonnay, originally from Bourgogne, is now grown all over the world. It is the perfect grape for reflecting and absorbing the unique terroir, influencing the flavour of Chablis and all that it stands for. Unlike the buttery, oaky Chardonnay’s, Chablis rarely (if ever) sees oak; rather it is fermented in steel tanks, giving it the purist expression of the grape.
The terroir is a massive factor in the quality of Chablis - the soil, microclimate, angle towards the sun, elevation of the vineyard and the hands that handle the grapes in the vineyard and cellar all play a role. It expresses distinct flavours of chalk, stone, citrus and ocean spray with refreshing acidity.
There are four distinct levels of Chablis - Petit Chablis, Chablis, Premier Cru and at the top, Grand Cru. The traditional core of Chablis surrounds the Grand Cru and Premier Cru areas. What is now called Petit Chablis is a result of the expansion of the appellation borders, in the 1950s and sits on Portlandian clay.
Chablis is something to really get excited about and we have a selection of the best that Chablis can offer. Some fantastic recommendations from Jean-Christophe and Scott: