The Wine of the Week
by Annette Tomei
2011 Domaine Laroche Chablis “Saint Martin”, Burgundy, France
Saint Martin was the patron saint of the town of Chablis. It is storied that his remains were once held in the building that now houses the offices of Domaine Laroche. This wine is made in his honor. This is the second vintage of this wine to be produced organically (law requires at least 2 more vintages produced organically before it can be labeled as such).
Soil conditions in Chablis are such that mineral qualities not typical for Chardonnay are accentuated while the cool growing season preserves the wines’ bright crispness, giving Chablis its characteristic lemony crispness and acidity – one of the most notable examples of the affects of terroir (as Chardonnay is typically fuller bodied with lower acidity, and creamy texture).
This wine has a pronounced minerality and aroma of lemon curd. The flavor started out as chalky-steel and dried lime, opening to ripe pear and an almost savory sharpness of fresh greens. It was refreshingly bracing and made a wonderful warm weather sipper.
For those who typically steer clear of Chardonnay unless it’s in the form of Champagne, don’t overlook Chablis – it doesn’t have to be a Grand Cru to be a lovely addition to your summer wine list.
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