Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Notes on the Grands Jours, Day 1

Chablis is the first stop on the Grand Jours tour. There, they also pour
Auxerre, Tonnerre, Vézelay, Irancy, and Saint Bris. Saint Bris is notable
since it’s made from sauvignon blanc. It tended to be aromatic and balanced
just under a percent of sugar. I would say the Saint Bris seems to be a
world away from white Bordeaux or New Zealand, and definitely a fun change
from a thousand Chablis.

They do make reds, especially in Irancy and Vézelay. The majority are
thinner than in the south—no big surprise—but also have nice noses and are
not oaky. The reds were acidic and so were the whites. We tasted mostly
2007, a cold year.

When it comes to Chablis wines, I found that a person could make a nice
Cartesian graph to explain them. On one axis, let’s say the X, we have
growth designations from Bourgogne to village to premier to grand cru. On
the Y we have oak. As you move along the X axis, the wines tend to go up in

Anyone can probably guess that as you move up and away, the Chablis also
get more and more expensive. The surprise of the day was that what was
interesting to me didn’t line up directly with the price. The lines of
people at the tables lined up directly with the price. Not that the
expensive stuff isn't good. It is. That isn't a surprise.

There was a really nice, balanced premier cru, Vosgros, that I loved, and
some of the Fourchaume and Montmains were great. My faves had a little oak.
A really smart importer could find some wonderful wine in this region
cheaper than grand cru. Then that person could import it to Oregon and we’d
all be happier.

Also, I might try to find a premier cru Chablis made in Oregon. Let us
know if you have found one.

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