Week 1 of 4 Week France course // Chablis

Chablis-A brief introduction to the region

In preparation for week 1 of our Online Tour De France we are briefly exploring Chablis...

Chablis is an outlier to the north of Burgundy. It shares the similar chalky soils to Champagne, with the mandatory grape being Chardonnay. 

The region is so northerly, the grapes tend to ripen more moderately. Less sunshine means less sugar, more acidity and a lighter body. The climate isn’t always good for the grape. The annual danger of spring frosts and in some years hail pose a threat to harvest so in bad years yields are low. 

In total there are  27 communes with an ascending quality order of Petit Chablis, Chablis, Premier Cru (40 climats or “named plots”) and Grand Cru (7 climats). Some world famous Crus are Montée de Tonnerre (1er) and Vaudésir (Grand). Soil quality and hill slope play a major role in delineating the differences. Most of the Premier Crus, and all the Grand Crus vineyards, are planted along valley of the Serein river with the best sites located on a southwest facing slope that receives the maximum amount of sun exposure.

The wine is commonly produced as an unoaked Chardonnay style. Crisp, lean and acid driven.

Chablis makes a delightful change from heavier styled "New World" Chardonnays. Restrained oak, subtle minerality and subdued but fresh and elegant profiles. Wines from Chablis are frequently described as having citrus and white flower aromas with dry, lean, light-bodied flavors of citrus, pear, minerality, and salinity.

Food Pairing

The best food pairings take advantage of the wine’s naturally high acidity to act as a palate cleanser. Due to the lighter, more delicate taste profile of Chardonnay, you’ll want to stick to lighter meats and fishes.

DOMAINE LOUIS MICHEL CHABLIS 1ER CRU

The high acidity and salinity in Chablis also means it will do well alongside raw fish and sushi. In terms of spice profiles, lean towards fresh herbs, white pepper, and low overall spiciness.