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When I sat down write this, my plan was to focus on the cold climate of Chablis. To write about how the vignerons were forced to implement widespread anti-frost systems just to survive. Or about how the traditional Chablis barrel, the feuillette, is smaller than elsewhere in Burgundy because the local oak trees, stunted by wind and cold, never grew as big as their more southerly cousins. I was all set to paint Chablis as the wine region equivalent of Pluto, the outsider of the Burgundian solar system following its own orbit on the frigid fringes.
And then the other night, after the kids had gone to bed, my wife and I opened this particular bottle, from one of Chablis’ oldest premier cru vineyards, for a nightcap. Yes, this is classic Chablis, where Chardonnay speaks with a clipped and flinty accent, but there’s also a beautiful, sunny aspect to this wine that I was not expecting. As I got deeper into the glass, I noticed a little floral note here, a touch of ripeness there, and before I knew it, my carefully crafted analogy crumbled. Then, pretty soon afterward, the bottle was empty as well.
|Winemaker:||Gilles & Romain Collet|
|Vineyard:||30 years, 9.6 ha|
|Aging:||After racking, wine goes through malolactic fermentation in 1/3 stainless tank, 1/3 neutral barrel (228 L), and 1/3 used demi-muid barrel (600 L)|
A good doctor prescribed the wine of Nuits-Saint-Georges to the Sun King, Louis XIV, when he suffered an unknown maladie. When the king’s health was restored the tasty remedy enjoyed a vogue at court. Lord, send me a doctor like that!
Inspiring Thirst, page 117