William Fèvre’s Didier Seguier on greatness in Chardonnay30th August, 2013 by Patrick Schmitt
Didier Séguier, director of Domaine William Fèvre in Chablis, believes the secret to great Chardonnay is a detailed understanding of the site conditions.
What factors in your view make a Chardonnay great?
It’s above all a question of terroir: understanding a vineyard, the amount of sun it receives, its exposure and its slope. All these elements will give a unique expression to Chardonnay. This is a variety that needs clay, limestone, good maturity and also good acidity (a northern location will enhance the effect of freshness).
What regions of the world, other than your own, have the potential to produce high quality and distinctive Chardonnay?
It’s one of the most widely planted varieties in the world, but Burgundy remains the terroir which transcends all other Chardonnays.
What is it about Chardonnay that means it has lasting global appeal?
Chardonnay is one of the great noble grapes, sharing this title with Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon… It truly reflects and expresses its terroir, producing wines which give elegance, richness and purity. Varietal expression does not necessarily dominate as can be the case with other grapes such as Sauvignon Blanc.
Is there a winemaker or wine whose expression of Chardonnay inspires you?
There are a number of winemakers who produce remarkable Chardonnays, such as Raveneau, Dauvissat, Coche-Dury and Jean-Marc Roullot.
This Q&A with Séguier is one of a handful of interviews with leading Chardonnay producers ahead of the inaugural Chardonnay Masters by the drinks business.
the 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 6 September.