One of the bests part about travel, for me anyway, is the planning. The searching out towns and villages, researching accommodation, planning routes with transport needs, finding interesting and varied things to do, places to visit, surprises found along the way…tripadvisor, booking.com, airbnb, google, etc, etc.
I enjoy it so much I sometimes forget I’m not travelling alone! I probably need to keep Rachael in the loop!
Hence the wine, the book, the map….time for a debrief!
And what better way to do so than with a wine from the region? Except the wine we tried isn’t! It’s from Burgundy, which we visited last year. Never mind, it is French and anyway Bordeaux is expensive, and I don’t want to spoil the excitement before we get there!
So…La Chablisienne 2011 Chablis 1er Cru, Cote De Lechet. $40 from 1st Choice.
Quite the mouthful, lots of detail.
La Chablisienne is a co-operative of growers that have bandied together since 1923 producing wines, coming from a mosaic of vineyard plots, providing a pallet of emotions marked with a truly mineral touch…
Chablis is Chardonnay.
1er Cru is the Premier cru, for in Burgundy wine, the term is applied to classified vineyards, with Premier cru being the second-highest classification level, below that of Grand cru and above the basic village AOCs
Cote De Lechet is the subregion.
Anyway, the wine was bloody excellent! Chablis has a beautiful minerality lacking in our chardonnays, and this is typical of the style, subtle and refined. Beautiful!
The only problem with buying French wine, or any European wine for that matter, is the vastness of choice, the multitude of labels, the lack of knowledge. You look at the imported shelves and have little to go on except price, which can be problematic when making choices.
I’m noticing more and more imported labels on shelves, and especially on wine lists, probably because the price perception isn’t there, as our awareness of them is limited. The likes of 1st Choice and Dan Murphy’s, as well as leading restaurants, import their own exclusive brands, therefore being able to set pricing without fear of comparison. Look at the back label and you’ll see the importer in most cases is owned by the proprietor. La Chablisienne, for instance, is imported by James Busby Fine Wines, which is owned by Coles.
Nothing wrong with that as long as you’re happy with your purchase, and I was with mine, but…
God, I am so out of my depth. My knowledge of Australia wines/varieties/regions/styles is pretty good, but Europe….forget it. I know where all the regions are, but the magnitude of vineyards/growers/labels is overwhelming. You would need to spend weeks, if not months, in each region to get an understanding of the scope and variety of labels, and here we are planning on spending a few days, max!
I guess there’s nothing for it, but to diligently plough on with relentless research into the subtle nuances of all the wine regions we plan to visit, continually referencing all the other regions as well, constantly!
Like I said, I love the planning.