Ahh, Chablis! One of the only French Appellation d’origine contrôlée, AOC (official wine appellation) to sport a single grape variety for its wines, Chablis has had a tremendously long and stupendously successful history as a wine-growing region. The first grape vines were planted during the start of the Roman occupation in what is now Burgundy, and Chablis and its pristine Chardonnay grapevines now occupy the northernmost corner of this ancient wine district. It was this historic wine region that we had the joy to explore last November with Pure Chablis (FB, Tw, WL), during a winemaker dinner designed by Boulevard Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Nancy Oakes.
The lady and I attended the dinner as media, courtesy of Sopexa and Julie Ann Kodmur. Our hosts were Françoise Roure, Marketing & Communication Manager for the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne (BIVB) and the Ambassador and President of the Chablis Wine Board, Jean-François Bordet. An intriguing younger Frenchman, Bordet is also a vigneron himself as head of his family’s Domaine Séguinot-Bordet (WL) in the village of Maligny in Chablis. We were also rather delighted at the restaurant, as we had never dined at the legendary SF eatery, Boulevard. Needless to say, the meal was excellent and filled with wonderful deviations off the tasty traditional pairings that I’ve come to love with the light-bodied, very bright fruit and minerality found in Chablis. I will defer the food review to my lady, Beth Fontaine (Tw) of Rollerskating With Scissors.
Our vinous trip through the wines of Chablis went from the bottom of the already high quality level, all the way to the top. Chablis has four levels of sub-appellations, each with their own level of quality classification. They range for the everyday Petit Chablis, to the largest of Chablis itself, all the way to the high end Chablis Premier Cru, and the seven most well-regarded Chablis Grand Cru vineyards. All are 100% Chardonnay and are defined by their precisely mapped vineyard locations, soils, and closely regulated winemaking methods. I found the Chablis Premier Cru wines that we tasted to have only the slightest oak notes, and be very zingy with their minerally acidity and very light body. Meanwhile, the top end Chablis Grand Cru featured a more rounder feel with some tropical fruit to balance that still zesty acidity and citrus fruit from the lower classifications. All were very impressive and unique however, with the Domaine Christian Moreau Chablis Grand Cru Valmur 2008 ringing in as my favorite of the dinner.
It was a truly educational and of course, super tasty, dining and wining experience. My hearty thanks to Sopexa, Kodmur, and our Pure Chablis hosts for such a wonderful experience. You can find all of my wine reviews below and the food recap over at the Lady’s site. Cheers!
Color: Light canary yellow, clear edges.
Nose: Slightest toast and earthier citrus and lemon, then nice granite minerality.
Palate: Medium body here, with rounder smoothness in the feel, zesty lemon on top and a more mineral-zinged, toastier finish. Very good: OldWorldWK.
Color: Canary yellow core, clear edges.
Nose: Very clean and fresh, with a mineral-driven, nectarine fruit and the slightest oak tones.
Palate: Light to medium full in body, with a fantastic citrus mix of fruit, led by that nectarine. Beautiful green apple and the brightest acidity for freshness. Very good: OldWorldWK.
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Color: Medium canary yellow, light canary edges.
Nose: Very lush and bright, with slightly toasted peach & yellow apple fruit, surrounded by flinty notes.
Palate: Medium full, with a bright, balanced acidity, lightly spiced orange fruit and lemon zest lead into the very long, earthy, lightly toasted and rounder finish. Extremely good: AwesomeWK.