Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Back to Burgundy

Last June, I had the pleasure of being selected to attend the Burgundy Wine School in Beaune, France and passed the rigorous exam to become an accredited Burgundy Wine Educator. Which basically means that I'm a beast when it comes to the Burgundy region, LOL! But that aside, I really do love the wines so when a Chablis seminar came to DC, clearly I had to be there.

When the Burgundy region does a seminar, they do it right! Printed, laminated maps, pre-printed listing of the wines with room for wine notes, a local Certified Wine Educator for the presentation, and each one of us were given a thumb drive of the presentation to take home. Now that's a seminar! Now I will say that since I've attend the school, there wasn't too much new information, but this time I was able to understand a few of the concepts a little better since I wasn't cramming the whole region into my head to prepare for the exam.

Chablis is a wine region located in the northernmost portion of Burgundy and produces wines made from the Chardonnay grape. The Kimmeridgean soil of the region gives the wines a flinty, mineral note. Most basic Chablis is completely unoaked, and vinified in stainless steel tanks. While the entire region of Chablis is designated as Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) it is further split into four quality classifications (listed from lowest to highest): Petit Chablis, Chablis, Premier Cru, and Grand Cru. On a side note, we went to the Chablis region as part of our 'learning' and we stood on a hill overlooking several of the climats of Chablis Grand Cru. The view was absolutely breathtaking.

You can't really have a Chablis seminar without tasting the wines, so they brought along 7 examples covering all 4 classification levels for us to taste and review.

Petit Chablis 2008
Domaine Bernard Defaix

Chablis 2007
Christian Moreau Pere & Fils

Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume, Vaulorent 2008
William Fevre

Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume, Vaulorent 2007
William Fevre
An excellent expression of Chardonnay. Very interesting and distinct differences between the 2007 & 2008, with 2007 in my opinion being the most expressive of the two. It tasted of tart apple and herbs with hints of minerality. Bright acidity and yeasty notes started mellow but finished in a symphony with crisp fruit.

Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux 2007
Louis Michel

Chablis 1er Cru Montmains 2006
Chateau de Maligny

Chablis Grand Cru Grenouilles 2008
Louis Michel
Grenouilles in French means 'little frog', so glad that has nothing to do with this wine! A sweet nose of pineapple, exotic fruits, and florals prepare you for the lush banana, pear and pineapple flavors for the palate. This is the rich, lush, round, complex flavor you expect from a Grand Cru.

Chablis Gran Cru Les Clos 2007
Christian Moreau Pere & Fils

You can never know everything, or even enough, about wine. It is ever changing, ever evolving. So I will be ever drinking! Since I happened to be one of the last to leave the seminar, I was able to take home one of the open bottles. Lucky me, I went home with a Petit Chablis!!

No comments:

Post a Comment