Chablis for the Summertime!

Jul 29, 15 Chablis for the Summertime!

Posted by in All

Chablis, it’s what’s for summer. Recently I was reminded just how good Chablis is. Oh, sure you have your new world oaked chardonnays and your unoaked chardonnays but nothing beats the Old World like a properly balanced Chablis; the fine balancing act between acidity, fruit and oak. What makes Chablis, which is always made from Chardonnay special, is that it has its roots in a seam of 155m year old fossilised oyster shells – the same ground that exists in the town of Kimmeridge, Dorset, and runs through parts of Champagne, the Loire valley and of course, Chablis. We had the chance to see how this wine pairs with food during a recent dinner at The Chancery. To make things confusing, Chablis has it’s own classifications, Petit Chablis, Chablis, Premier Cru and Grand Cru, a classification that is unique to Chablis only. We started off with canapes and a pure and intense  Dauvissat Petit Chablis 2012. Crisp and clean, it was delightful with the crab beignettes served alongside it. Petit Chablis is often looked down upon but in reality it makes a great aperitif. The next step up is Chablis. Chablis can be made from grapes anywhere in the appellation. I find Chablis to be a fabulous white wine, having weight to it but still being very fresh. I like the way it sits in my mouth before going on its merry way. The Garnier & Fils ‘Grains Dores’ 2012 is matured in expensive Austrian oak and has that lovely weightiness to it, paired with a creamy avocado and scallop dish it was a sensation. The other wine paired with it was a youthful 2014, made by Louis Moreau, the President of the Union des Grands Crus de Chablis. A zippy and fresher wine, there were hints of citrus on the nose and palate. We then moved onto  Chablis 1er Cru, which comes from precisely defined geographical areas. My favourite was the  Jean Marc Brocard’s Montée de Tonerre 2011, the vineyards are close to Chablis’ Grand Cru vineyards and...

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Wines for Father’s Day and Beyond, Chateau Chantelune and Premier Cru Chablis

Jun 08, 13 Wines for Father’s Day and Beyond, Chateau Chantelune and Premier Cru Chablis

Posted by in France

Father’s Day is just round the corner but it’s not too late to get your Dad the perfect gift. If you’re visiting me, you must be looking for a few wine recommendations and I’ve got a few from The Perfect Cellar.  I was recently sent these two lovely wines (Chateau Chantelune and Premier Cru Chablis 2011 Mont de Milieu) by the Perfect Cellar and think they’d be very good choices for your Father’s Day gift giving. The first one is a red Bordeaux produced by Chateau Chantelune. They may not be very well known but are a small vineyard that has been developed and cared for by Jose Sansfins, technical director of Margaux house, Ch. Cantenac-Brown. I tried the 2009 Chateau Chantelune, a fabulous blend of merlot and petit verdot, with a plate of charcuterie and bread. I decanted it for about half an hour before drinking it and it opened up nicely. On the nose, loads of black fruits and spices jumped out of the glass, followed by a smooth, velvety textured palate. I noticed flavours of blackberries, licorice and toast with a long finish. A great choice and priced at £32.99 a bottle, a Bordeaux that punches above it’s price point. I was recently in Chablis and came away with a new found appreciation of Premier Cru Chablis. There are only 40 Premier Cru in Chablis, most planted on southeastern facing slopes which helps them get as much sun as possible. Premier cru wines also spend a bit of time in oak which gives them complexity and flavour but they still have the crispness that one associates with chablis. The Mont de Milieu 2011 Premier Cru by Domaine Charly Nicolle. A fresh but elegant wine, full of white flower and white stone fruits on the nose with a distinct hint of minerality. This wine would be great with creamy seafood dishes or roast chicken. Retailing for £20.45 a bottle, a real charmer. As an added bonus, The Perfect Cellar is running a promotion in...

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Pure Chablis at the Epsom Derby 2013

Jun 05, 13 Pure Chablis at the Epsom Derby 2013

Posted by in France, Lifestyle

The sun is out and just in time for summer horse racing season. Last week I went to Ladies Day at the Epsom Derby as a guest of Pure Chablis. The sun was shining on the racecourse and we had a perfect view from our box on the top floor of the Queen’s Stand. As the event was hosted by Pure Chablis, we had plenty of chablis on hand to taste before, during and after lunch. They were showcasing the medal winners of the 2013 Concours des Vins de Chablis. Some of my favourites were on hand, including Domaine Louis Moreau, Alain Geoffroy. Garnier & Fils, Domaine Long-Depaquit, Isabelle et Denis Pommier  and Jean-Paul et Benoit Droin. On a warm, sunny Spring day, Chablis really ticks all the boxes as a refreshing wine. The 2011 premier cru wines were my favourites as they had weight and a depth of flavour that is only going to improve as they get older. When I was in Chablis recently, I found that the older vintages were the most flavourful and full of depth and character. A great day out at the races and, as an added bonus, one of my horses won! Next time I’m going to have to bet more 😉   Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Alain Geoffroy’s corkscrew museum in Chablis

Mar 29, 13 Alain Geoffroy’s corkscrew museum in Chablis

Posted by in France, Travel

When we arrived at Alain Geoffroy’s tasting room,it was the end of a long day of tasting in Chablis and while it had been an illuminating day of tasting, I must admit by this time my teeth and palate were ready for a small break. When Alain’s daughter, Nathalie, came out to greet us and asked if we wanted to tour the corkscrew museum, how could we say no. I love visiting these little out of the way museums that seem to be dotted around French wine regions. I once visited a seashell museum in Champagne, but, I digress. The collection is comprised of more than 3000 corkscrews, corkpulls and other types of accoutrements to get the cork out of the bottle. In addition, Alain has also collected antique viticultural tools used in the vineyards and has a whole collection of tank spigots – I know it may not sound all that interesting but it is kinda cool to compare the old days technology with what they use now, especially considering that some of those tools were used in the not so distant past. There was also a slightly disconcerting assortment of mannequins used for the displays. I think it’s safe to say that they spent most of their money on acquiring the corkscrews and not the mannequins. The museum is officially open the same days and times as the tasting room. There is a nominal fee to pay but Natalie says that’s mostly to ensure that people are really interested in seeing the museum (and probably not looking to nick an antique corkscrew). Afterwards, we did indeed have another tasting of Geoffroy’s wines including a few older vintages from 2009 and 2008. The tasting room is open most days as is the museum so if you are looking for something off the beaten track, Alain Geoffroy’s corkscrew museum is pleasant diversion from all that wine tasting.  Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Who doesn’t like a Chablis?

Chablis. The word just rolls off the tongue. Chablis/Rhymes with glee/makes me hap-py… Ok, so maybe I’m being a bit silly as I write this (and yes, I am sober although a bit hopped up on my third cup of coffee this morning) but I do honestly enjoy a good Chablis. I’ve written about Chablis before, how people are often confused by this wine, not realizing that it is made from 100% chardonnay from the great land of Burgundy. Although Chablis is from Burgundy, unlike it’s cousins to the south, it is a pure expression of the minerality of the soil. Oak is not used as extensively as in southern Burgundy in order to preserve the fresh, lean qualities of  the wine. If oak is used, it’s usually big oak barrels and not the smaller barriques as is common elsewhere. The soil is an old sea bed that has been pushed up over time by the earth’s movements to form the Kimmeridgian ridge. Composed of the shells of tiny sea creatures, most notably the small oysters called Exogyra Virgula, this gives it its distinctive mineral overtones that is the hallmark of Chablis. Chablis is made up of 4 appellations – petit chablis, chablis, chablie premier cru and chablis grand cru. Each having their own specific production areas and conditions. I popped down to Central London for a short tasting of the nominees for the 24th annual Chablis Wine contest that the Burgundy Wine Board run every year. The wines were all from the Chablis appellation. Chablis is the biggest of the 4 appellations, producing wines that are best suited to age due to their structure, persistent flavour and volume on the palate. I had the pleasure to taste through a series of 13 2008 Chablis from the Chablis appellation and pick one that I thought was the best representation of the Chablis on tasting. I knew that the top Chablis was in there, as the winners had already been announced, but didn’t know which...

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