A French Connection for International Chardonnay Day

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Today is a double whammy: May 25th is International Chardonnay Day, as well as National Wine Day for the USA. I must be insane or a glutton for punishment for posting twice today, but oh well. You have your wine reading cut out for you for a while! 🙂

For National Wine Day, I am saving a little bit of time by utilizing an expert on Virginia wine, Matt Fitzsimmons. I took this as an excuse to learn about wine in a different part of my country. Matt has his own blog over at Wine Trails and Wanderlust, and he is graciously letting me reblog his post on Virginia wines for this holiday. His excellent post covers all you need to know and then some about Virginia wine (don’t worry, it’s not too long, I made it sound like it might be lengthy). Do check it out! You will learn a lot and get bit by the wine travel bug (I know I did!).

So for International Chardonnay Day, then, I thought I would turn to La Belle France, birthplace of the esteemed Chardonnay grape. For Americans who are not experts or at least moderately familiar with them, European wines can often be mysterious and perplexing. But with a few recommendations to point you in the right direction, you can be well on your way to enjoying some truly lovely wines from Europe. I love my local and American wines, but branching out to other continents is great fun. Don’t let it scare you, and don’t be a vino xenophobe! 🙂

The French region of Burgundy is world-renowned for its Pinot Noir red wine and Chardonnay white wine. This particular Chardonnay I selected is from the Chablis appellation in Burgundy.

Domaine Chenevieres Chablis

The perfect place to begin exploring fine French Chardonnay… Chablis

2019 Domaine Chenevieres Chablis

  • Appellation d’Origine Controlee
  • Currently $27/bottle at Total Wine
  • 12.5% ABV
  • Medium body
  • Elegant, crisp and refreshing, good minerality (this is not a rich, buttery, oaky California or Australia Chardonnay with tropical fruit flavors)
  • Delicate balanced fruit profile – pear, apple, mandarin, apricot, floral – if white wines like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris make you pucker with their tart citrus flavors, you might be more receptive to gentler, rounder Chardonnay

Here’s how and where this wine was made:

“Domaine Chenevieres is located in ‘La Chapelle Vaupelteigne,’ a hamlet located in the northern side of the Chablis appellation in Burgundy. 100% Chardonnay vines grown on a plateau with kimmeridgian limestone soils. Fermentation with indigenous yeasts in stainless-steel vats to preserve the minerality and purity of the fruit.”

According to Wine Enthusiast, limestone soils are naturally alkaline with high pH levels. Limestone is essentially calcified sediment from shells, coral, and other seabed debris. Because of this unique chemical composition, limestone soil is reputed to increase minerality and acidity in the grapes that grow in it, although many scientists claim the evidence is lacking. I say the proof is in the pudding, and if you try this Chardonnay you can’t miss the definite mineral character of the wine and the unique influence the soil sure seems to have on the grapes. Yet the debate rages on….

I really liked this Chardonnay, and would gladly buy it again, either when I’m in the mood for such a wine or looking for a really nice white wine to go with seafood. The price wasn’t so out of the park that you felt like you’d been socked in the gut. This is a great white wine to keep in your back pocket (so to speak) for bringing to dinner parties or any event where there will be white wine/Chardonnay drinkers.

Total Wine also sells several other Chablis from Domaine Chenevieres, from different vineyards and classifications. I believe the higher prices reflect higher quality or more prestigious vineyards. I was perfectly satisfied with the $27 introductory bottle, but you do you.

Salut to Chardonnay, and Vive La France! ❤

Happy International Chardonnay Day! Do you have a favorite? Comment below!

Nat Geo Wines of the World


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