Chablis, a region in northern Burgundy, produces Chardonnay—and not like any other chardonnay in the world. Climate is the first element that is different: it is much cooler than other Chardonnay growing regions. The cooler climate creates juice that is less fruity and has higher acid levels. The second element that makes it different is that for the most part it’s naked… unoaked in other words. At Grand Cru and Premier Cru levels they might receive some oak, but at the winemakers discretion.
The result of the climate and the winemaking is a wine that is best described as “steely.” The acid backbone is as straight as a knife’s edge. Sounds yummy right? What makes this all palatable is that Chardonnay is naturally the most full-bodied white wine out there. Tension is created between the two (body and acid), and then throw in terroir. Jancis Robinson, my favorite wine writer, describes Chablis as the “purest” expression of varietal character. And almost all experts would agree that the aging potential of Chablis is well worth the wait.
The precision of Chablis may not be for everyone. It's akin to punctuating every sentence so carefully that you create a "sit upright" speech. Most people prefer to be carefree, say what they like how they like, and drink warmer climate Chards and not think about their punctuation or posture. That is fine… leave the Chablis for those who want to embrace good posture (we can’t slouch and relax all the time…that would get a bit droll after a while). Change things up! Embrace good abs and drink Chablis!
Angela Camacho, a certified sommelier and author of a best selling wine tool, The Wine Wheel®, shares her obsession with wine and food.