Just in time for Thanksgiving, we attended a Wines of Chablis tasting event, which has us excited to bring some of these wines to our holiday feast. The Chablis wine region is in the Northernmost part of the France’s Burgundy region. Chablis grapes are 100% Chardonnay, but the wine distinguishes itself from other Chardonnays in several ways. First, the cool climate of the Chablis region produces a slightly drier wine, with brighter citrus notes and a pleasant minerality. In addition, Chablis is rarely aged in oak. There are those who say Chablis wine is the purest expression of the Chardonnay grape.
Chablis has four appellations, depending on the terroir the chardonnay grapes were grown; Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru, and Chablis Grand Cru. There is a prestige to the Premier and Grand Cru, which are grown in the most coveted terroir, but all appellations produce outstanding wines. We were fortunate to taste many different wines, from Petit Chablis to Grand Cru and there wasn’t a dud amongst them. When you run into pick up wine for Thanksgiving, or the other upcoming holidays, ask the expert in the store for Chablis recommendations. Or, here are a few of our favourites from the tasting. Definitely seek these out!
Bouchard Père & Fils Petit Chablis
Bright and uplifting, a bouquet of citrus, green apple and stone. This was the first wine we tasted, and it was an instant crowd pleaser. With oysters, it was a sublime pairing, but this is a versatile sip that would pair well with anything. A nice balance of easy drinking and satisfying.
Chablis Premier Cru
Domaine Hamelin Beauroy Chablis Premier Cru
This was another crowd favourite of the night. It has the hallmarks of Chablis with a unique character that’s hard to describe. Zesty citrus and orchard fruit, with a buttery tone, and an earthy minerality. Great texture.
Chablis Grand Cru
Jean-Marc Brocard Les Preuses Chablis Grand Cru 2018
This was the grand finale for the evening, and it is outstanding. All the beautiful aspects of Chablis are here, but everything is more luscious; fuller and softer, like an overstuffed down duvet for your palate to sink into. This wine has seen some oak in the aging, and it shows up subtly with a hint of warm, buttered bread. Any of the other Chablis we’ve mentioned here are impressive, but if you want to go super-luxe, this Grand Cru will take you there.