In the hills and valleys around the Serein river in northern Burgundy’s Yonne department, Chablis is arguably the home of unadorned, cool-climate Chardonnay, producing wines of great freshness, longevity and beguiling minerality.

Chablis wines are made in a style rather different from those produced elsewhere in Burgundy. They are drier and fresher, rather than more weighty and richly flavoured. Most basic Chablis is fermented and aged in stainless steel, with use of oak barrels more common in higher-level wines, though used larger barrels are more likely to be employed than new barriques, and wines will spend a shorter time in them than in the Côte d’Or.

The town and its vineyards are located a considerable distance (more than 100 kilometres/60 miles) northwest of Burgundy’s main wine-producing areas from the Côte de Nuits to the Maconnais. They are in fact closer to Sancerre (Loire) and Les Riceys (southern Champagne) and the city of Paris. Consequently, Chablis has a cooler climate than the rest of Burgundy, and similar vineyard macroclimates to Champagne.

Sadly, after the good-sized crop of 2020, we are back once again to a vintage of short rations. Yields were way down but what has been produced is classic, mineral, and delicious. Prices also remain reasonable, offering some of the best value premiers and grand crus to be found.

Chablis 2021 En Primeur

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