At a recent seminar on Chablis, we tried 8 wines from 6 different producers. We found that overall, the wines were eminently drinkable; all showed that they would have an affinity for food, especially goat cheeses, light seafood, pork, veal, and other acidic dishes.
My number 1 wine was a Chablis Grand Cru, Les Clos 2007, from Christian Moreau, Père & Fils. The wine had a very nice nose, with chalk, mineral, light floral, and grapefruit notes. There was an underlying complexity to the aroma that kept evolving during the tasting, making the wine rather intriguing to sniff. The flavor was slightly vegetal, minerally, with grapefruit, green apples, green mango, and a touch of tropical fruits. The finish was medium long, and the wine evolved in flavor and sweetness as it lay on the tongue. This wine retails for about $50.00.
My number 2 wine was also a Grand Cru, Grenouilles 2008, from Louis Michel. This wine had a light floral nose, minerals, citrus, and slight vegetal notes. The flavor was crisp and smooth, with green apples, white peaches, and light floral flavors. The finish was medium, but it was clear that this wine was young, and would certainly age well. I suspect that had we tried a 2007 vintage, it would have been tied with the Les Clos as my first choice. This wine retails for about $60.00.
My number 3 wine was a Chablis Premier Cru, Fourchaume, Vaulorent 2007, from William Fevre. This wine was minerally, vegetal, with light tropical fruits on the nose, and citrus, minerals, a little pineapple, and lemon on the palate. It was a bit acidic, but had a nice finish and had enough complexity to make it interesting. This wine retails for about $50.00.
My number 4 was another Premier Cru, Montmains 2006, Château de Maligny. This wasn’t an overly complex wine, but it was a nice drink. It was floral, with green apples and some flint on the nose, with green apples and some vegetal notes on the palate. It was crisp and tart, but not overly acidic. This wine retails for about $30.00.
My number 5 wine was the Petit Chablis, 2008 Domaine Bernard Defaix. The nose was mineral, with limestone, light citrus, white fruits, with very slight herbal notes. The flavor was citrus peel, flint, white peach. The wine was crisp and acidic – perhaps a bit too acidic. The finish was medium long, with a tart sweetness, some citrus, and even a little artichoke. This wine retails under $20.00
Number 6 was a Chablis, 2007, Christian Moreau, Père & Fils. This wine had a slight petrol note, with honey, citrus, and some herbal undertones. The wine was tart and crisp, lemony, with some orange peel, citrus, and pineapple, along with typical mineral notes. The finish was a little short, slightly acidic, and not very complex. This wine retails for about $25.00
Number 7 was a Chablis Premier Cru, Fourchaume, Vaulorent 2008, from William Fevre. My overall impression of this wine’s aroma was shoe polish. My tablemate described it as “almost petrol – like lanolin.” It wasn’t exactly unpleasant, but it was a little odd. The wine had some grassy, “green” aromas, and some citrus notes. The flavor was crisp, with minerals, green mango, unripe fruits, and some vegetal notes. Another participant noted that the wine was unbalanced. It may be simply a need for more aging – I’d certainly like to try this wine again in a year or two. This wine retails for about $40.00.
My final wine was a Chablis Premier Cru, Butteaux, 2007, Louis Michel. To be fair, the first bottle we tried was contaminated, and quite unpleasant. A second pour was better, but I suspect some prejudice from the first attempt. The wine had a nose that was light citrus, flinty, with tropical fruits and some floral notes. The flavor was mineral, light white fruits, grapefruit, and some floral flavors. It was a little acidic, and not very complex. This wine retails for about $30.00
Chablis are available at most wine shops in Miami; just be careful that it is a French Chablis, not an imitation.