House: Raoul Gautherin & Fils
Name: Chablis, Vielle Vigne
Origin: Burgundy, France
Price: 114 DKK/15,30 EUR/19 USD on winefamly.dk (market price 209 DKK/28,10/34,80 USD)
Chablis as a wine region
Chablis is also one of the most notorious regions in the world. It is part of the larger Burgundy region which is located in the north of France, just under Champagne. The only white grape (we will discuss red Burgundy a bit later) that is allowed to produce not just in Chablis but in whole Burgundy is Chardonnay. This makes it one of the most complicated wine regions in the world. With 84 appellations in Burdgundy out of which 4 are in Chablis alone, combined with Cru system and the fact that every wine is made from the same grape, it takes a lot of practice to properly distinguish these wines.
In my opinion, basic Chablis is quite boring. It is just a basic oak-y Chardonnay which is nice to drink with your friends but do not have any special value for wine fans. However, even this basic wine can be elevated to another level and create unique tasting experience. Besides other, the wine that I am tasting today has special designation “Vielle Vigne” which stand for old vineyards. There is no legal definition for this classification. Old vines have much deeper root structure that go through several layers of soils which enables them to gather nutrients from parts of the earth where young vines just cannot reach.
Another element that elevates some of the Chablis wines is the extensive Cru system, but again, I will explain Cru system when I actually taste the Grand Cru wine.
Raoul Gautherin & Fils, Chablis Vielle Vigne
Chablis I am tasting today is made from grapes that come from vine which is 35 years old. Another specific feature is the classification “Fût de Chêne” which indicates, that barrels used for aging of the wine are made in-house. This is very important for quality management because 100% of the resources used for this wine are made in the winery.
In the nose we get a hint of oak with dominant mineral smell. In the taste, the wine has high viscosity with a little bit higher acidity. I taste notes of honey with hint of citrus fruits. Wine has a long but smooth aftertaste.
Personally I have never been a big fan of white Burgundy wines. That is, until I tasted Vielle Vigne wines or Grand Cru Burgundy wines. These wines take this humble grape to whole another level and provide fans with unique tasting experience. I really enjoyed this wine; I would reccommend it with seafood, grilled fish or wild poultry.