The other night I was enjoying a 2012 Chartron et Trébuchet “Cuvée de la Chapelle” Pouilly-Fuissé. While sipping it, I couldn’t help but be a little bit peeved over the fact that I’ve heard countless people say they hate Chardonnay.
Don’t get me wrong. I know that there are a lot of people on that ABC bandwagon (the Anything-But-Chardonnay kick), but I’m wondering where that all comes from?
Let’s be real. Chardonnay is one, if not the, most versatile grapes that make up this lovely libation we call vino.
It comes in all types of styles from buttery and oaked to austere and citrus-driven.
While I think that some areas are producing better Chardonnay than others, I’m curiously thinking about why so many people are going ABC!
Pouilly-Fuissé is a type of Chardonnay found in the Mâconnais area of Burgundy in France. While this region doesn’t produce the most ageworthy or complex wines, you can be guaranteed that you will try a Chardonnay so far-from-the-reality-of-buttery-Chards-out-of-Cali that your palate will be refreshed. Literally.
As it says in the Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil:
A lifetime of experience with California chardonnay (or chardonnay from other parts of the New World) would give you little idea of what to expect from a white Burgundy, for these wines are completely different, even while they span an enormous range of styles and flavors. At a fairly simple level there are crisp appley-lemony wines from such Mâconnais and Côte Chalonnaise villages…These everyday drinking wines are almost never going to be called opulent, buttery, butterscotchy, oaky, bursting with tropical fruit, or any other descriptor commonly applied to California chardonnays. Even Pouilly-Fuissé, which can have some weight to it, is far less conspicuous and less bosomy than most New World chardonnays. p. 208
So what am I getting at? Go out and explore. Go out and try some Chardonnay that will expand your horizons. Stop being so ABC!
Available at the BCLDB for ~$35.00, you’ll get a good glimpse into what austere citrus notes taste like. Brilliantly vibrant, the fresh squeezed lemon juice and lime zest notes pop from the glass. The minerality in this wine pulsates, leaving you with impressions of wet stones and white chalk. It’s gorgeous. As it warms up in the glass, more green fruit appears with notes of apples and pear. White grapefruit pith stands on its own, ensuring that the citrus-family is kept in check. Good acid structure. Good body. Good value. Try it with grilled cheese sandwiches, calamari, or veal piccata.
Now that’s a Chardonnay I can uncork. DOWN WITH ABC!
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5 thoughts on ““Chardonnay Still Rocks” Says Cuvée de la Chapelle”
I agree completely. Chardonnay is varied and complex. ABC is just silly. 🙂
Some of the best Chardonnays in France actually come from the Macconais. Many are actually very rich in style. There are also many very ageworthy Pouilly-Fuisses. Recently I had one from Domaine de la Bongran that had 10 yerars on it and was stunning. One of my top Chards ever was a 15 year old Domaine Valette From Puilly-Vinzelle. There’s lots to explore and at good prices compared to the Cote d’Or. In our market, the Bret Brothers are a good place to go to, but also check out the Macon wines from Leflaive and Lafon, both at marquis I believe.
Yes — and we need more Pouilly-Fuisses! I can only imagine how the 10 year old Domaine de la Bongran tasted. My tastebuds are watering just thinking about it! I have to take a trip down to Marquis at some point. I know John Clerides likes his French wine. Thanks for reading, Shea! Cheers!
Huge fan of Chardonnay , jumping on any bandwagon is bad especially when there are so many to explore. And nothing goes with grilled cheese like Chard!!!
Grilled cheese and Chardonnay! Of course that’s a great pairing! What cheeses do you recommend for this type of sandwich? I can imagine that oaky, buttery Chards from California would be the best pairing. However, I can also imagine my taste buds being intrigued by a Bourgogne and some Havarti! Thanks for reading, Les!