Once again, use a good large glass. And not too, too cold, please. This limpid, green-gold Chardonnay from the fossil-rich Kimmeridgian limestone of the hills above Chablis is Burgundy, after all, and another textbook example of how a fine wine’s engaging vitality becomes more and more compelling for some time after it’s poured. Aromas of white flowers, wet gravel, salt hay, and fresh-picked Granny Smith apples move in and out of the foreground, sometimes alternating with more fleeting suggestions of pineapple core, wild spearmint, and grapefruit pith, as the nose evolves in the glass. On the palate, the minerality is explicit, with oyster shell brininess and flavors that echo the nose, including fresh tarragon, chervil, and almonds toasted in butter, all tailored and sharpened and narrowed, with a rare combination of high energy, vibrancy and persistence. Drink now–2030.
About this wine producer: Beginning in 1998 with just 0,6 hectares of Petit Chablis at the top of the hill above the Grands Crus, Sébastien Christophe represents a new generation of winegrowers in Chablis: hard-driving, well-grounded in tradition, yet thoroughly familiar with modern winegrowing practices, and aware of the advantages and challenges that climate change has presented to this part of Burgundy. Today, Sébastien is responsible for more than thirty hectares of vines in the appellations Petit Chablis, Chablis AOC, three Chablis Premiers Crus, including Fourchaume, Mont du Milieu, and Montée de Tonnerre, as well as the Grand Cru Blanchot, where he farms the vines in lutte raisonée. At his tiny winery outside the hamlet of Fyé, on the right bank of the Serein opposite the town of Chablis, he produces about 70,000 bottles annually of some of the most exciting wines in the region, all fermented on the natural yeast in stainless steel tanks, with only about 10% of the wine matured in neutral, used oak barrels.