CHABLIS: AN EVENING OF DISCOVERY
This week we were lucky to attend a Wines of Chablis tasting event at Paris Paris. This was a particularly lovely event, mostly because Chablis is a particularly lovely wine. But there was much to appreciate about the evening; it was a beautiful weather; the food and service at Paris Paris is wonderful; we sampled a wide range of the expressions of Chablis; and, the company was excellent in our intimate group of wine enthusiasts. French wine scholar, Olivia Siu, AKA @crazywineasian, led us through the evening, sharing her deep knowledge of the terroir and appellations of Chablis, with humour and grace.
The evening began outside in the autumn sunshine with a fantastic Petit Chablis from Bouchard Père & Fils, bright and uplifting, a bouquet of citrus, green apple and stone, and an instant crowd pleaser. There was a selection of olives, fresh, crusty bread with whipped, salted butter, charcuterie and cheeses, all of which were a lovely match to the wine. But the ultimate, sublime pairing, was the salty, East Coast Oysters dancing with the crisp minerality of the Petit Chablis.
We moved inside Paris Paris, where Olivia gave us background on Petit Chablis, and moved us into a selection of wines within the Chablis appellation, paired with the first course; a creamy-inside-crusty-outside corn croquette atop a poblano ranch sauce, garnished with the thinnest slice of house-cured ham. Of the wines we tasted within this appellation, a standout was the Simonnet-Febvre, dry and bright, an excellent example of classic Chablis. Green apple, citrus, uplifting acidity, and chalky minerality.
We then moved to Chablis Premier Cru, which come from grapes grown in the more coveted sun-soaked hillsides with premium limestone soil. These wines were paired with grilled Argentine shrimp drenched in a spicy cognac butter sauce, enhanced by pickled mushrooms. The crowd favourite of the Premier Cru wines seemed to be the Domaine Hamelin Beauroy (but they were all good). It has all the hallmarks of Chablis with a unique character that’s hard to describe. Phenomenal texture, zesty citrus and orchard fruit, with a buttery tone, and an earthy minerality.
The grand finale for the evening was the outstanding 2018 Jean-Marc Brocard Les Preuses Chablis Grand Cru. All the beautiful aspects of Chablis are here, but everything is more luscious; fuller and softer, like an overstuffed down duvet for your palate to sink into. This wine has seen some oak in the aging, and it shows up subtly with a hint of warm, buttered bread. Any of the other Chablis we’ve mentioned here are impressive, but if you want to go super-luxe, this Grand Cru will take you there. It was paired with a fresh polenta, topped with maitake mushrooms, grilled escarole, and paper thin radish; a delight of taste and texture.
As you gather wine for Thanksgiving, and the holiday seasons to come, definitely put Chablis on your shopping list. Find these wines we mention here, but also, don’t hesitate to ask the expert at your local wine shop for recommendations on which Chablis to try. There are so many right choices.
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