Friday, January 13, 2017

Chablis on the Cheap - Classic Chardonnays From $13-$38

God, I love Chablis. I taste a ton of California Chardonnay, and I am a massive fan of more Cali Chards than I can count. But, when I sit down to taste a bunch of Chablis, my mouth starts to water before I even take a sniff.

Unfortunately, I can’t drink Raveneau on the reg. If I won the lottery, I’d be snatching them up by the case. But, while the top echelon of Chablis producers demand serious money, there are a lot of producers of good, and sometimes thrilling, Chablis for a reasonable amount of money. 

This tasting included wines from all over the quality and classification spectrum of Chablis, from Grand Cru down to Premier Cru, generic Chablis, and Petit Chablis. (However, my favorite was the Premier Cru Fourchaume.) 

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. 

2015 La Chablisienne Petit Chablis Pas Si Petit - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Petit Chablis
SRP: $13
Light yellow color. Aromas of green apples, peach, hints of sea breeze and chalk dust. Medium/light bodied but a vibrant and creamy texture balanced off of bright acidity. Yellow and green apple, lime zest, the fruit mixes with honey, salted almond and chalk notes. A bit simple, but very pleasant and delicious, a great introduction to the wines of Chablis. For my palate, this destroys a lot of California Chardonnays at the same price-point. (86 points) 

2014 Samuel Billaud Chablis Les Grands Terroirs - France, Burgundy, Chablis
SRP: $25
Pale lemon color. A bit richer aromatics than the Petit Chablis, this shows more yellow apple and pear, some creamy honey and almond as well, with a light dose of chalk and ocean spray. Medium-bodied with crisp acidity, nicely balanced, with yellow apple and pear, a shot of lime peel. Honeysuckle and honeycomb mix nicely with sea salt, preserved lemon and chalk dust notes. Pure and clean on the finish. (87 points) 

2014 Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis 1er Cru Vau de Vey - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
SRP : $27
Medium yellow color. Aromatically, a huge burst of sea spray, chalk dust and salted almond, lemon and lime peel with some dandelion and cut flower stem notes, too. Brisk acidity kicks off the palate and carries this wine all the way through. It’s a tart and refreshing ride but there’s plenty of apple and lime fruit, and more than enough minerals, sea salt, oyster shell. (87 points) 

2014 Isabelle et Denis Pommier Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
SRP: $35
Bright lemon color. Bursting aromatics of dandelion, honeysuckle and lilies, along with mandarin orange, lime peel, and richer notes of honeycomb and nougat as well. Lovely texture on the palate, great balance between incredible acidity and some creaminess. Oranges, limes and lemons topped in oyster brine, sea salt, honeycomb and peanut shell. Such a tangy and lip-smacking wine but enough richness and texture to keep it balanced. Lots going on here. I’d love to hold onto this for four or five years. (91 points)

2013 Jean-Claude Bessin Chablis Grand Cru Valmur - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru
SRP: $38
Light gold color. Aromas of oranges, lime, preserved lemon, crushed shells, lamp oil, honeycomb and raw almond. Medium-bodied with laser-like focus and acidity, a pure and zesty wine. Minerals, river rocks and crushed shells on top of lemon, lime, green pears and orange peels, add in some white tea and honeycomb notes. Lacking a bit of density and intensity I look for in a Grand Cru, still very good stuff, though. (89 points)

This post first appeared on the daily wine blog Terroirist. 

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