28th August, 2013 by Patrick Schmitt
Chablis was declared the world’s best unoaked Chardonnay at a roundtable discussion on the region’s wines earlier this month.
Speaking at an event in London hosted by the drinks business, Stuart Gundy, Bibendum buying director for Europe said, “Chablis is probably the best example of unoaked Chardonnay in the world – I don’t think anywhere does unoaked Chardonnay better.”
However, acknowledging that the appellation comprises a wide range of styles, with varying levels of lees contact and oak use, he said it was important to offer a broad range.
“Some want freshness and minerality, others want barrel fermentation,” he recorded, adding, “Our job is to provide all the options”.
He also warned that it was important to ally the winemaking techniques to the character of the vintage, as well as alter picking times in warmer years to retain acidity – and it was acidity which he said was such an important trait for Chablis, particularly when it’s being sold to serve with food in restaurants.
The db roundtable event comprised a tasting of the different quality tiers of Chablis before hosting a discussion focused on the possibilities for selling more higher-priced Chablis in the UK on-trade.
Attendees taste a range of Chablis ahead of the discussion. Pictured left to right: Gearoid Devaney MS; Xavier Rousset MS; Rebecca Palmer; Patrick Schmitt
The panelists believed there was a potential for premier cru wines in particular, a quality level described as a “sweet spot” for the region.
A full report on the event will appear in the September issue of the drinks business.
db is also organising a tasting competition focused on Chardonnay. Called the Global Chardonnay Masters, the event will take place in September and will be presided over by a panel of Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers. The wines entered won’t be judged by country but by style and price.
Those interested in entering the competition can do so here. The deadline for entries is 6 September.