There are over 300 estates in Chablis, and last Monday, it felt like they’d all descended upon NYC. Thirty-four exhibitors, and God knows how many wines…I tasted through over 100 and by 4:30, a third of the wines listed had yet to arrive.
After a lost weekend out East (congrats to newlyweds Lee and Romy!), I got my self to the Tribeca Rooftop for the 10:30 seminar that Monday morning. And while the info presented was a bit basic (by a speaker who mispronounced), the seminar did allow time for me to sit and contemplate before stepping into the Tasting Room to zip and spit my way around the wines.
It’s brilliant–the effects of soil, sun, and slope on a single varietal. Chardonnay. In the mid-1950’s there were 500 ha of vineyards in Chablis, now there are a total of 4,948. Created in 1938, the appellation has four ranks (with distribution for 2009): Petite Chablis (16.37%), Chablis (65.91%), Chablis 1er Cru (15.62%), and Chablis Grand Cru (2.1%), the latter totaling seven vineyards that face SW along the Serein. The soil–of the Kimmeridgian period (Upper Jurassic)–limestone, clay, and fossilized oyster shells–cradles and kisses the vines where it counts.
And while so many of the wines were notable, here are just a few that tickled my palate:
—Domaine Servin Chablis Grand Cru, Blanchots, 2008–No oak shines a light on salinity. Stone fruits and green vegetables arranged around my platter.
–Domaine Servin Chablis Grand Cru, les Clos, 2008–Like a peach still clinging to the tree. Minerally and tight. Fresh in the mouth with aromas soft like stonefruit skin. Jailbait. If only we had ten years time.
—Domaine Christian Moreau Pere et Fils Chablis 1er Cru, Vaillon, 2008–Asparagus and blanched almonds. Fresh stone fruits–strung together with salinity–streamline acidity.
—Domaine Christian Moreau Pere et Fils Chablis Grand Cru, le Clos, Clos des Hospices, 2008–Smokey stones and subtle waves of grain. Kasha. Bright acidity–Wonder Twin Powers activate: apple and stone fruits, in the form of ocean mist and silk.
–Domaine Louis Michael & Fils Chablis Grand Cru, Grenouilles, 2008–Apricot and brie. A touch floral. It’s like sitting beneath the tree, light and airy–sun streaming down between leaves.
–Domaine des Malandes Chablis, Vieilles Vignes, Tour de Roy, 2007–Grapefruit and lemon. A few crystals of salt. An elegant exit. Minerally and lovely.
[Tribeca Rooftop, 2 Desbrosses Street, New York, NY 10013]