Remembering a Walk in Chablis over Dinner #Winophiles

French Winophiles Love Chablis!
This month, our French Winophiles are heading for a virtual visit to Chablis, the northernmost region of Bourgogne (aka Burgundy). Take a look farther down in this post for a list of links to all my fellow Winophiles for lots of great information and ideas for Chablis!

Image courtesy of Bourgogne-Wines.com

Chablis – the Northern Outpost of Bourgogne
Within Bourgogne, Chablis sits apart, north and west of the main wine growing areas of Côte d’Or. It’s actually closer to the southern reaches of Champagne than it is to the main body of Bourgogne. Being a bit further north, it’s cooler here. The soils are from an old seabed, and consist of a variety of types of limestone. All this adds up to a great place to grow top quality Chardonnay grapes which are just ripe and very high in acid. The wines are citrusy with refreshing high acidity and not showing oak notes as might appear in wines from the Côte de Beaune further south. Even though they exhibit refreshing high acidity, they have a nice round texture to buffer the high acidity.

The classification gives an indication of the possible quality of the wine, although so much is still up to the vigneron!

Chablis Pyramid
As in many French wine regions, Chablis vineyards carry an official quality level associated with the site. The Chablis vineyards were formally classified back in 1938, although top vineyards were already well known. The classification applies to the designated area based on the soils, exposure and year-in year-out demonstration of the overall quality of wines made from that denomination. Of course, the final wine is still impacted deeply by the winemaker.The base of the Chablis pyramid is split into Petit Chablis and Chablis. Petit Chablis vineyards are typically on a slightly different soil type – Portlandian limestone vs. Kimmeridgean limestone and exhibit a lighter, leaner body compared to Chablis. Chablis wines exhibit just a bit more body and texture and can gain more character with age. Premier (1er) Cru Chablis wines come from vineyards with particularly favorable south facing exposure, slopes and excellent soils. The Grand Cru Chablis vineyards are surprisingly all located on a single south facing hillside just outside of the village of Chablis. They account for a mere 1% of all Chablis wines.

Strolling the Grand Crus
We love Chablis and have taken day trips to visit the region on several occasions. There is a hike which allows visitors to experience the Grand Crus directly. You’ll always remember Chablis wines when you have the opportunity to stand where the grapes grow! Grand Cru or not, we love all the levels of wines from Chablis.

Robert Goulley, Vigneron
Domaine Robert Goulley was founded in 1950 when family vineyards were turned over to Robert. He took on the challenge of raising the quality of the vineyards, and built a winery in the village of La Chapelle Vaupelteigne, immediately adjacent to the village of Chablis. Today, Frederic is in charge and continues to work to improve the quality of the vineyards and wines by working to achieve organic certification. The family farms a total of 10 hectares (about 22 acres) in the region, including all levels of Chablis from Petit Chablis to Grand Cru, plus Aligoté, Saint Bris Sauvignon, and even some Pinot Noir.

Disclosure: The wine for this post was provided as a sample. No other compensation was involved. All opinions expressed are mine

Domaine Robert Goulley Chablis 2019

Robert Goulley Chablis AOC 2019 (sample, $20 SRP, or online here) 12.5% abv
Eye: Pale lemon
Nose: Medium intensity aromas of fresh barely ripe lemons, lemon curd
Mouth: Dry, high acidity, medium body with a round texture, medium alcohol, medium intensity flavors, medium plus finish. Those pure flavors of barely ripe lemons and lemon curd lingered nicely leaving an elegant impression.
Observations: Great purity of flavors with a nice round texture to soften the high acidity. This wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel with the intent of preserving the purity of the fruit, a task it accomplishes beautifully!

Domaine Robert Goulley Chablis paired with grilled walleye and vegetables

Walleye on the Grill with Potatoes, Veggies and Chablis
While it’s not oaky or buttery, Chablis has body and texture from aged on its fine lees for 5 months. It’s perfectly at home with grilled vegetables and lighter proteins. Walleye is a tasty freshwater whitefish is perfect. Simply prepared with an eggwash and breadcrumbs with a brief stint on the grill, this was a meal of pure flavors. We enjoyed sitting out on the deck, albeit with heaters on and blanket!

Chardonnay grapes ripening in the summer sun in Chablis

Winophiles Discover #PureChablis
Our French Winophiles group is celebrating Chablis this month. Take a look at all the great posts below and you’re sure to find something new. We’d love for you to join our chat on Saturday May 15 at 10-11am CDT on twitter. Simply look for the hashtag #winophiles and you’ll be in the chat. Don’t forget, you can search on #PureChablis anytime to find out more about this beautiful region!

Comments
15 Responses to “Remembering a Walk in Chablis over Dinner #Winophiles”
  1. robincgc says:

    What a fabulous walk! It’s great to put perspective on a place that I have only read about. I appreciate your deep dive into the details of the region!

  2. culinarycam says:

    I am jealous of your travels, Jeff! What great memories.

  3. Jane says:

    The perfect Minnesota “local” fish to pair with Chablis! Perfect, I am jealous.

  4. Thank you for the introduction and on the ground birds eye experience of this region! Hopefully I’ll be ablate visit there also one of these days and walk around there to see for myself!

  5. Freshness of Chablis seems to say springtime, walleye on the grill, and, of course, blankets!

  6. winesomm707 says:

    Very nice piece on Chablis! Picked up some new tidbits! Keep up the informative pieces. As a somm, I am always up for reading more. If you are ever out in Sonoma CA, look me and my Jeep wine touring business up! https://www.vinesofsonoma.com

  7. Pinny Tam says:

    Nice video to capture the beauty of the Chablis villages. Good luck with the rest of your WSET Diploma exam!

  8. Nicole Ruiz Hudson says:

    I’m so jealous of your Chablis travels! I definitely hope to make it some day. The pairing with the grilled, breaded walleye sounds delightful.

  9. Payal Vora says:

    What a lovely walk through the Chablis Grand Crus, and superb video!

  10. The hike through the Grand Crus is probably one of my most memorable moments. Love the pictures you have captured through your travels.

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