Chardonnay: ‘texture is paramount’

27th August, 2013 by Patrick Schmitt

Bouchard Père et Fils head winemaker Philippe Prost shares his views on what makes Chardonnay great and who are producing inspirational expressions of the grape.

Philippe Prost

Philippe Prost believes texture is paramount for Chardonnay

Prost, who has been with Burgundy’s Bouchard since 1978, stresses the importance of achieving ideal maturity for top Chardonnay, and says that the grape requires a long cool ripening period to preserve acidity, limestone for “minerality”, and restraint when it comes to the use of new oak.

Outside Burgundy, he rates California and South Africa for their Chardonnays, and within his home region he is inspired by winemaker Bernard Morey and the wines of Frères Fichet in the Maconnais.

The full Q&A with Prost can be viewed below and is one of a handful of interviews with leading Chardonnay producers ahead of the inaugural Chardonnay Masters by the drinks business.

What factors in your view make a Chardonnay great?

Above all, great maturity. We are fortunate to be able to achieve great maturity because we have consistent acidity. This is also the secret to a creamy, tart impression, which gives a special texture. And texture is paramount – salinity and minerality are assets that give a tone, a life to this grape variety.

Bouchard-Père-Fils-Beaune

Philippe Prost is head winemaker at Bouchard Père Fils

What regions of the world, other than your own, have the potential to produce high quality and distinctive Chardonnay?

Latitude is important to ensure that you have a period of maturation which preserves cool temperatures and retains acidity. Limestone is of course a great feature for this variety, one that needs minerality.
 South Africa and some northern valleys of California produce some beautiful wines.

What is it about Chardonnay that means it has lasting global appeal?

It has a wonderful purity; it doesn’t need bells and whistles (new oak); it is expressive but not vulgar. And it is very much in tune with contemporary cuisine.

Is there a winemaker or wine whose expression of Chardonnay inspires you?

For winemaker, it’s Bernard Morey, while it’s the wines of Frères Fichet in the Maconnais, for their energy, their expression and tone in a very accessible appellation.

global_chardonnay_masters_2013-10-07-13the drinks business Global Chardonnay Masters 2013 takes place in September. Presided over by a panel of Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers, rather than being judged by country, each Chardonnay is assessed by style and price.

Those interested in entering the competition can do so here. The deadline for entries is 13 September.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

National Account Manager – On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
London, UK

Sales Manager – Midlands and South West

Pol Roger Portfolio
Midlands and South West

UK Brand Ambassador - That Boutique-y Gin Company

That Boutique-y Gin Company
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Senior National Account Manager – Grocery (Craft Spirits)

Maverick Drinks
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Senior National Account Manager – Wholesale RTM (Craft Spirits)

Maverick Drinks
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Digital Marketing Manager

Master of Malt
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Experienced On Trade Sales Person

Borough Wine Imports
London, GB

3 x Business Development Executive

The Lakes Distillery Company Limited
Newcastle head office and nationwide, UK

Editor

Master of Malt Ltd
Tunbridge Wells(Kent)

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Brand Manager

Hallgarten Druitt
Luton, UK

Experienced On-Trade Salespeople Required

Portal Wines and Spirits
London, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 17th April 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 14th April 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 12th May 2017

Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2016

Now in its fourth year, the competition will identify the best Chardonnay from all around the world in every price range.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

The Global Malbec Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2016.

Click to view more