About this WINE
Domaine du Colombier, Chablis
Guy Mothe built up the highly successful Domaine du Colombier by starting with a tiny holding and then acquiring small parcels of land that came up for sale over the years. Today the domaine has 33 hectares of vineyards and is run by Guy`s son, Thierry.
Most of the vineyards are dedicated to the production of AC Chablis, though there are significant holdings in Premier Cru Fourchaume and Grand Cru Bourgros. This is a first-class source of pure, unoaked, mineral-laden AC Chablis.
The lowliest of the four Chablis appellations with 400ha out of a possible 1800ha under vine. Some argue that the Portlandian limestone clay soil here is inferior to the Kimmeridgean version that exists in the superior appellations, but it is more likely that aspect, microclimate and other factors are more important.
There are moves to abolish this appellation and convert it to Chablis as many see it (in the words of Rosemary George MW) as more petty than petit. But this looks unlikely to happen anytime soon. Overall quality here is disappointing, although from a good producer Petit Chablis can be a good value, slightly lighter version of Chablis.
Recommended Producers: Séguinot-Bordet
Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.
Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.
It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.
Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.