Monday, January 14, 2008


CONTENT NOTE: Chardonnay Monday:

On Mondays, I'll be posting about wines made from Chardonnay. For awhile these will be wines from the various regions in France (ex. Chablis, Pouilly-Fuisse, Beaune, etc.) that produce different types of Chardonnay wines. I'm curious about the different ways the Chardonnay grape is made into wine, especially in France.

When I stared learning about wine a little over a year ago, I was disappointed with Chardonnay. They all seemed too sweet or had too much citrus flavor for me. I thought maybe I just didn't like the Chardonnay grape. So it was with a little reluctantance that I focused on the Chardonnay wines of France. Gary Vaynerchuk at Wine Library TV has been expounding the virtures of French Chardonnay for a while and so I thought I finally learn more about them. I'm glad I did!

The first French Chardonnays I tried were from the Pouilly-Fuisse (Poo-yee Fwee-say) appellation from the Macon region of Burgundy, France. The growing villages of Pouilly-Fuisse are clustered in a roughtly cointiuous area of about 1,400 acreas located 20 miles west of Mâcon.

One of the more well known vinyard owners / negociants in the area is Louis Jadot. I've seen bottles of Louis Jadot wine in all the wine shops I frequent and in most of the grocery stores in my area. Louis Jadot started making wine in 1859. In 1985, the US wine and spirit corporation Kobrand bought Louis Jadot, becoming the first American company to buy a Burgundy producer.

The important part of all this to me is how the wine tastes. When I took my first sip it reminded me of the flavor I assosciated Chardonnay: oak. I know that its popular now to prefer a more natural untouched expression of the grape, but I grew up with oaky Chardonnays and that's the flavor I anticipate when I think of the grape. It may not be the best pairing, but Thanksgiving turkey and an oaky Chardonnay go hand in hand for me! The Louis Jadot was dry, too. I did detect apples on the nose, but there was no sweetness or citrus flavors that had turned me off to Chardonnay before. The Louis Jadot was $26 at my local BevMo, so if you know of a local wine that has the same dry, oaky flavors of this wine and costs less, please let me know. But even at this price, I'm happy to drink Chardonnay again!

Product sheet at

Tasting Notes:

Color: Light bonde, almost champagne colored

Aroma: Yeast, apple and OAK

Taste: Nice dryness; medium mouthfeel; oak

Finish: Slight acidity and the flavor lingers

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