Chablis is one of the first wines I drank from France growing up. My parents used to buy it and they let me drink wine pretty early on following a couple of European vacations. For the longest time though, I am sure I had no idea about the grape variety used to make it or what a grape variety was. Chardonnay as we all know if the variety used to make Chablis but it is so much racier and lean than many people’s idea of Chardonnay that I can understand people’s confusion.
Louis Jadot was my very first bottle of Chablis. Founded in 1859, they own 528 acres, including 280 acres of the Cote d’Or’s most prestigious Premier and Grand Cru plots. The family originally hailed from Belgium. Many years ago I interviewed Jacques Lardière, their winemaker for 42 years, right before his retirement, a fascinating conversation. Today their wines are made by Frédéric Barnier who joined the company in joined in 2010. Lardière retired but then began to make wine in Oregon under the brand Resonance Wines. Like much of the Chablis I have tasted in my lifetime, this one had nervous energy thanks to that acidity.
Chablis vineyards located on the hills of the Serein River Valley. The climate is Continental and they are influenced by the nearby river. We must of course mention the amazing soils that make Chablis what it is. The Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards of Chablis are on Kimmeridgian marl. It’s a particular kind of limestone formed 160 million years ago. Chablis AOC and Petit Chablis AOC vineyards are also located on specific kinds of soil called Portlandian marl. A slightly younger soil it was still formed 140-150 million years ago.
The four Chablis Appellations are Chablis Grand Cru AOC, Chablis Premier Cru AOC, Chablis AOC and Petit Chablis AOC. There are seven Chablis Grand Cru climats that are all located on a single slope and 40 Premier Cru climat on different slopes on the banks of the Serein River.
While writing this I have been looking up all kinds of information about Chablis and am shocked to find that only 31.2 million bottles are sold a year (figure from 2017). I thought it was a much larger amount. Of that, their biggest export market is the UK, not the USA which comes in second.
I would think such a Chardonnay loving country as ours would import more of it. Perhaps that while change as people look farther a field for Chardonnay they love. This nervy, edgy version is a style of that grape that I greatly enjoy. While I didn’t pair it with food, I can think of 5 great pairings including Oysters, Pasta, Chicken dishes, Sushi, and a savory tart.
My fellow bloggers always have beautifully paired wines so I am sure I will get some good ideas later today.
There’s a lot to say about Chablis but I wanted to add two words about Notre Dame – that beautiful wounded church. I am cheered by all the good news about it being more stable than they had thought and all the money that has been donated for it’s restoration thus far. The road will be long and she may not be exactly the same but it is still standing and some day her bells will ring again.
It was also interesting to see how much it meant to so many people and what it symbolized in their lives and in my own journeys to France. Thanks to winophiles I get to travel to France at least once a month.
Join us and you can too. Check out our twitter chat on Saturday April 20 at 11am EST by following the hashtag #Winophiles. The following wine influencers will be talking about what we learned this month:
Cam at Culinary Cam Brings Us “Cracked Crab, Cheesy Ravioli, and Chablis”
Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles writes about “Mont de Milieu Premier Cru Chablis from Simonnet-Febvre and Pochouse”
Gwen on Wine Predator we share “Chablis is … Chardonnay? Comparing 2 from France, 1 from SoCal Paired with Seafood Lasagna”
Host Liz at What’s in That Bottle “Shares Chablis: the Secret Chardonnay”
Deanna at Asian Test Kitchen Writes about “Top Chablis Pairings with Japanese Food”
Jennifer at Beyond the Cork Screw Has “French Companions: Chablis and Fromage Pavé”
Payal at Keep the Peas writes about “Chablis: A Tale of Two Soils”
Jane at Always Ravenous has “Pairing Chablis with Marinated Shrimp Salad”
Jeff at Food Wine Click shares “All the Best Food Pairings with Clos Beru Chablis”
Jill at L’Occasion writes about “Metal Giants: Windfarms and the Chablis Landscape”
David at Cooking Chat writes about “Sipping Chablis with Easter Dinner or Your Next Seafood Meal”
Pinny at Chinese Food & Wine Pairings writes about “A Delicate Pair: Jean Claude Courtault Chablis and Sichuan Peppercorn-Cured Salmon”
Nicole at Somm’s Table writes about Domaine Savary Chablis Vieilles Vignes with Scallops and Brussels Sprouts Two Ways”
Kat at Bacchus Travel & Tours shares “The Delicate Face of Chardonnay: Chablis”
Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm Brings Us “Chardonnay? White Burgundy? Chablis!”
and here at Avvinare.com I’m sharing “Celebrating France with Chablis and Toasting Notre Dame.”