Love it or hate it most of us have something to say about Chardonnay
hardonnay is popular all over the worldbecause of its versatility. Hotter climes gives it topical flavours, while cooler areas give it freshness. So, armed with a little knowledge, whether you like Old World or New World wines, Chardonnay has something for everyone.
The Chablis region, in France, is a lot further north than the rest of Burgundy, so has a cooler climate — but you won’t find any Pinot Noir vines here. It’s all about Chardonnay. Combined with the tradition of leaving the majority of wines unoaked means that the style of this lean, light white, Burgundy is very different from their rich, fruity southern cousins. It’s all about the classic appley, grapefruit-like Chardonnay — a fantastic palate-cleanser.
The regions grapes don’t get the sunshine other French varieties enjoy, but what they lack in fruitiness, they make up for in cool, subtle flavours that make for a refreshing crisp white wine. In the glass it’s a pale in colour, sometimes with a greenish tinge, but always little to no oak to taste.
The town of Chablis, known as the ‘Golden Gate of Burgundy’ dates to the Middle Ages and is home to prestigious vineyards and rich heritage. Visit the cellars of Saint-Martin collegiate church, the Hotel-Dieu, and relax afterwards at the Pâtis — a park created in the late 18th-century.
Petit Chablis vines, principally found on the town’s outskirts, are all planted to keep up with global demand and has the higher quantity of grapes grown, and the greatest area planted.
Tasting NotesPetit Chablis
Petit Chablis is normally pale with hints of white flowers together with citrus (lemon and lime) with some minerality. The mouth feel is light and refreshing. Seek out a bottle that’s between two to four years of age.
It pairs well with oysters, raw fish, and prawns or with tripe sausages and snails. Goat cheese, Gouda or Gruyère work well. But fear not, should none of these fine foods grace your dinner table, it is also the ideal wine to accompany a fresh, crisp summer salad or sipped as an everyday white wine.
Notable producers include: Brocard, La Chablisienne, Dampt, Dauvissat, Defaix, Droin, Louis Michel, Moreau-Naudet, and Raveneau. A bottle of Petit Chablis starts at around £8. Give it a go!