Get to know Chablis

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Chablis

Many are familiar with the name Chablis and they often know that it is a French white wine. But for most people it also stops there. The name Chablis has become such a huge brand by itself that many people are unaware of what lies behind the name.

Lets start with the grape

 

Meet Chardonnay. A grape that is easy to enjoy producing fresh and rather neutral wines if the climate allows if of course. It is originally from an area in France named Bourgogne, but it is now grown all over the world. But it is here in Bourgogne it really shines and has created some some of the worlds very best wines. The Chardonnay grape dates several centuries back.

There is a commune in Bourgogne, a very small one a couple of hours drive from Paris. This commune is named Chablis and it is here the Chablis wine comes from.

Chablis with it freshness makes for excellent wines to pair with all of the worlds sea food. The level of quality also decides what genre of seafood it pairs best with.

The price of Chablis wine varies a lot, from the entry level priced Petit Chablis to the quite expensive Grand Cru`s. There are several reasons for the price difference. The two most important ones are the aspect of the vineyards compared to the sun and soil, and then of course how the farmer and winemaker handles the grape both in the vineyard and in the cellar.
 

Petit Chablis

Grown on lesser soil, giving a poorer sun exposure and soil with less nutrients and limestone. These wines are simple and fresh. Perfect as an aperitif in the sun.

 

Chablis

Made from vineyards with a better aspect, and more nutrients in the soil from limestone and also better drainage. The farmer also gives these grapes a little more compassion as he know that they will give a better profit. The wines are fresh with a higher flavour concentration. They often pair nicely with scampi, mussels and fish soups.

 

Premier Cru Chablis

The vineyards here has a much better aspect, and that is why they are allowed the name Premier Cru. Here we are on a level where the farmer puts a lot of  work into growing some of the best grapes. Premier Cru Chablis are fuller and more intens in flavour with a great minerality and sea flavours. When young they can be a little to acidic, and they often need a couple of years to develop and become ready for consumption. A perfect freshness and intensity to pair with Crayfish and more flavourful fish with more domination garnish.

 

Grand Cru Chablis

This is the top level, and it shines into the price level. There are only 7 Grand Cru vineyards allowed to produce Grand Cru Chablis. The vineyards all have their own name which is also written on the label of the bottle. Very flavourful and intens wines but also very acidic when young, often in the need of longer ageing before they are ready. There are often also small subtle amounts of oak flavours in the wines bringing the complexity to a new level. Pairs great with very flavour intens seafood like lobster and fish dishes with buttery sauces.

Marius has worked in several parts of the wine business for the last 16 years. He is currently working as a Category Coordinator for wine and spirits in the Travel Retail business. He is also a part of a tasting panel for the financial newspaper in Norway and writes articles and lectures in his spare time.Marius has a huge passion and dedication for the wine and spirits industry. He is a certified Sommelier and is currently undertaking the WSET Diploma in wines and spirits education.