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Chablis – The first sip tastes like fresh seawater - Bortársaság magazine

Chablis – The first sip tastes like fresh seawater

Over the last year, we couldn’t travel as much as before. Instead, we spent the time at home, tasting and searching. We sought out wine, revived old relationships, and we got to know winemakers via webcam for the first time. And one of the best such (re)discoveries of recent times was cool Chablis.

Similar to Champagne, Chablis is among the great classics as a brand. Here, we don’t necessarily think of a wine region but a precise style, and a very strong, reliable brand. The acidic, taut-structured Chardonnay, along with its southern relatives in Burgundy, have already conquered the world and set off such a great wave that the variety is now to be found in almost every wine region of the world. There was also the time when far more bottles around the world were put on the shelves under the Chablis name than what the barely few-hundred-hectare region produced annually. A lot of things have changed since then – the region has grown tenfold in 50 years, and now beside the big names of the wine region, a new generation has appeared on its 5,000 hectares of vines.

Chablis is officially a subregion of Burgundy, and it’s no coincidence that the wines from here recall our favourite Champagne experiences. It is located further north than Burgundy’s Côte-d'Or, close to Champagne, and we can find a clear parallel in terms of the qualities of the places of growth: here the dominant soil type is also the rare Kimmeridgian limestone *. This gives Chablis the structure that once tasted will always be recognised.

Now, we’ve discovered two new wineries, which put together our first orders during the big April frost. During this time, torches burned everywhere in the vineyards, thereby protecting the fresh buds. It’s an incredible sight that, of course, comes at a price, but Chablis has always been known for these risky spring days (and especially nights). For example, from the memorable 1957 vintage, only 100 litres of grand cru Chablis were made. A wine region like this can only survive with passionate winemakers, and now we’re presenting two of them – one for those looking for the traditional style and one for experimenters.

*Kimmeridge limestone
A compact rock made up of high-quality limestone, clay and small oyster fossils. One of the most valuable soils for grapes that originates from the Kimmeridge age, 150 million years ago.

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