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Fill out your info and we will notify you when the 2016 Chardonnay Éric Chevalier is back in stock or when a new vintage becomes available.


Our Best Chardonnay Value

by Clark Z. Terry

Some wines deliver well beyond expectations—this is one of them

2016 Chardonnay

Éric Chevalier   France   |   Loire   |  Vin de Pays du Val de Loire

Good Chardonnay has texture and grain and that’s what you have here—it sinks into the palate and lasts and lasts.

The Loire Valley, with its near overabundance of top-quality and well-priced wines, is a veritable trove of value. It’s just hard to go wrong there. Looking for a white or red for the cellar? Try Savennières or Chinon. Perhaps you’d enjoy a bottle that has already been aged for you. Our Loire producers often hold back large portions of vintages to sell them in the future (hint… stay tuned for an email coming later in August). Sparkling, still, or sweet, the Loire delivers and therefore it’s no surprise that our top Chardonnay value doesn’t come from Burgundy, but from Éric Chevalier and his domaine on the western edge of the Loire Valley, not far from the Atlantic Ocean.
         In this land of châteaux and sea breezes, Chardonnay soaks in the complex minerals of this region’s soils. Though you might be hard-pressed to point out the specific flavor of Serpentinite in a wine, this bottling has a distinct mineral aroma, like fresh rain on the rocky shores of a mountain river. But perhaps the most distinct characteristic of Éric’s Chardonnay is intrinsic to the grape itself. Good Chardonnay has texture and grain and that’s what you have here—it sinks into the palate and lasts and lasts.
        Some wines deliver well beyond expectations and the Chevalier Chardonnay is one of them.


More from this Producer or Region

About Loire

map of Loire

The defining feature of the Loire Valley, not surprisingly, is the Loire River. As the longest river in France, spanning more than 600 miles, this river connects seemingly disparate wine regions. Why else would Sancerre, with its Kimmeridgian limestone terroir be connected to Muscadet, an appellation that is 250 miles away?

Secondary in relevance to the historical, climatic, environmental, and cultural importance of the river are the wines and châteaux of the Jardin de la France. The kings and nobility of France built many hundreds of châteaux in the Loire but wine preceded the arrival of the noblesse and has since out-lived them as well.

Diversity abounds in the Loire. The aforementioned Kimmderidgian limestone of Sancerre is also found in Chablis. Chinon, Bourgueil, and Saumur boast the presence of tuffeau, a type of limestone unique to the Loire that has a yellowish tinge and a chalky texture. Savennières has schist, while Muscadet has volcanic, granite, and serpentinite based soils. In addition to geologic diversity, many, grape varieties are grown there too: Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Melon de Bourgogne are most prevalent, but (to name a few) Pinot Gris, Grolleau, Pinot Noir, Pineau d’Aunis, and Folle Blanche are also planted. These myriad of viticultural influences leads to the high quality production of every type of wine: red, white, rosé, sparkling, and dessert.

Like the Rhône and Provence, some of Kermit’s first imports came from the Loire, most notably the wines of Charles Joguet and Château d’Epiré—two producers who are featured in Kermit’s book Adventures on the Wine Route and with whom we still work today.

More from Loire or France

2012 Saumur-Champigny “Clos de L’Échelier”

Thierry Germain  France  |  Loire  |  Saumur-Champigny

$60.00

2017 Vouvray “La Dilettante”

Catherine & Pierre Breton  France  |  Loire  |  Vouvray

$27.00

2017 Saumur-Champigny “Les Mémoires”

Thierry Germain  France  |  Loire  |  Saumur-Champigny

$68.00

2013 Saumur Blanc “Clos de L’Écotard”

Thierry Germain  France  |  Loire  |  Saumur

$40.00

2014 Chinon “Le Clos Guillot”

Bernard Baudry  France  |  Loire  |  Chinon

$38.00

2012 Saumur Blanc “Clos Romans”

Thierry Germain  France  |  Loire  |  Saumur

$80.00
$28.00

2016 Saumur-Champigny “Clos de l’Échelier”

Thierry Germain  France  |  Loire  |  Saumur-Champigny

$60.00

2014 Clisson “La Molette”

Domaine Michel Brégeon  France  |  Loire  |  Muscadet

$38.00

2017 Saumur-Champigny “Terres Chaudes”

Thierry Germain  France  |  Loire  |  Saumur-Champigny

$45.00

2017 Jasnières

Pascal Janvier  France  |  Loire  |  Jasnières

$22.00

2017 Bourgueil “Trinch!”

Catherine & Pierre Breton  France  |  Loire  |  Bourgeuil

$27.00

Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch

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