#Terroir-ist Tuesday: Chablis, Part 2

Greetings, dear readers! Answers to last week’s binNotes’s Chablis quiz below (press ‘View Results’ for results.)

by L.M. Archer, FWS

ANSWER:     Chablis has ONE (1) Grand Cru, people! It’s a tricky question, because that one Grand Cru contains seven (7) climats. These climats include:

1. Les Clos

2. Vaudesir

3. Valmur

4. Blanchot

5. Bougros

6. Les Preuses

7. Les Grenouilles

Each climat offers an entirely different flavor profile, which  I can personally attest to after my tasting at Chablis’ co-op, La Chablisienne. I’ve included some of photos from the tasting below.

Bottom line: Chablis Grand Crus DO merit the hype.

ANSWER:     Chalky soils endemic to the Kimmeridgian Ring.  Some of you chose ‘Limestone from Cote d’Or,’ which  technically might be considered  a correct answer, as Burgundy’s predominant soil is limestone of varying ages and composition.

However, Chablis’ limestone soils are part of Europe’s  ‘Kimmeridgian Ring,’ a ring of limestone clays composed of dead oyster fossils. It’s a long story, but basically France use to be part of a tropical sea – before glaciers, techtonic plate shifts and crust uplifts. The baby oysters that died prior to all the geological dramas settled into layers. These layers eventually turned into clays with a chalky consistency. With each plate shift and uplift, these chalky sea bed layers dispersed, forming a ‘ring’ including the cliffs of Dover, Chablis, Champagne’s Aube region, and Upper Loire’s Sancerre region.

ANSWER:      Beaunois. As in ‘that white grape from Beaune.’

Some of you chose Melon de Bourgogne, which is the white grape predominant in the Lower Loire’s Pays Nantais region.  Melon de Bourgogne is more commonly known as  Melon or Muscadet.

ANSWER:  Chablis’ AOC Hierarchy is as follows:  Chablis Grand Cru, Chablis Premier Cru, Chablis, Petit Chablis.

Some of you chose ‘Chablis Grand Cru, Chablis Premier Cru, Chablis Village.’ Chablis has no village level wine.

I could geek out on the AOC hierarchies of France, but suffice it to say that the French may have guillotined their nobility during the Revolution, but not their love of aristocracy – if only in the vineyards. It’s good to be the King, or at least a Grand Cru.

ANSWER:    False. Surprise! In the Grand Auxerrois region of Chablis, the AOC authorizes the commune of Irancy  to grow Pinot Noir and ‘Cesar‘, a rustic red blending varietal.

I can vouch for Irancy’s rouge, having tasted some during a visit to Domaine P.L. & J. F Bersan in St. Bris le Vineux, as noted in the photos above. The red blend, named Cuvée Marianne after the winemaker’s sister (who died tragically in 2006) possesses a lighter robe and spicier flavor profile than ‘typical’ Burgundies from Cote d’Or or Cote Chalonnaise.

Good job! Thanks for following…join binNotes next week for Terroirist Tuesday: La Chablisienne – Co-Op Confidential.
In the meantime, feel free to leave your comments below…Santé!

Thanks to:

Brigitte Houdeline, Director and Jean-Pierre Renard, BIVB – Beaune FR & Chablis BIVB
Le Chablisienne Co-Op, Chablis FR
Domaine P.L & J.F Bersan, St. Bris Le Vineux – Chablis FR

Copyrighted 2013. All Rights Reserved. All images courtesy of the author.

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