The SOMM Journal

February/March 2015

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 50 of 92

50 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } FEBRUARY/MARCH 2015 TALK TO A SOMMELIER ABOUT TERROIR, AND INVARIABLY CHABLIS enters the conversation. Widely produced and widely varied, Chardonnay may have suffered a general downswing with consumers (to wit: "ABC"—Anything But Chardonnay), mainly for its association with big, oaky New World versions—but true Chardonnay, as expressed in Chablis, never left the imagination of those who sell and serve it. After visiting Chablis last year, I was seduced by the deliciousness of the wine, which struck me as both nervy and salt-of-the-earthy, even as it dissolved the enamel from my teeth after a week of tasting. And it wasn't hard to convince Quaff Report captain Mike Madrigale to put Chablis to the test before a panel of his colleagues from the various Daniel Boulud restaurants, where Mike is Head Sommelier at Café Boulud and Boulud Sud. Of the 193 million bottles produced in Burgundy, 38 million are Chablis, Eric Szablowski, a former winemaker at Domaine William Fèvre told me. Szablowski, now an educator in Chablis, said, "If you want to produce Chablis, you must be on Kimmeridgian," referring to the ancient soil mix packed with fossilized oysters that give the wines both its chalky and saline characteristics. Other Chablis is planted on Portlandia—also a chalk and limestone mix, but without sea-fossils. Our call for submissions netted so many samples, we decided to explore the region in two reports: the Premier and Grand Crus in one, and Chablis Villages, the 19 appellations surrounding Chablis, in the other. The weightier Premier and Grand Crus seemed more seasonably suitable for a winter report, we look forward to blinding the Villages bottles in the near future. Mike invited Édouard Bourgeois, Head Sommelier at Café Boulud, and veteran panelists Victor Pinkston Head Sommelier at db bistro moderne and Eduardo Porto Carreiro, Beverage Director at DBGB, for our tasting. As usual, the panel tasted blind, with the bottles organized by vintage year and cru (Premier first), starting with Fourchaume, north of the town of Chablis and east of the Serein River, and wrapping counterclockwise around to Les Clos, the largest of the seven Grand Cru climats, positioned on the southwest-facing slope above the town. Mineral Rights OUR NYC PANEL DIGS INTO THE CHALKY, FOCUSED WINES OF PREMIER AND GRAND CRU CHABLIS by Lana Bortolot / photos by David Handschuh team captain: Mike Madrigale Our panel (left to right): Eduardo Porto Carreiro, Édouard Bourgeois, Mike Madrigale, Victor Pinkston. Team captain Mike Madrigale, Head Sommelier at Café Boulud and Boulud Sud. Eduardo Porto Carreiro, Beverage Director at DBGB.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The SOMM Journal - February/March 2015