This summer I went into the Kensington Wine Market (Calgary) with a list of bottles I wanted to find. Not being from the city I was looking forward to browsing their selection. I had been in once before a few years ago and was happy with what I had found. I’ve had a lot more experience in wine since that point but was still a bit intimidated by the sheer amount of wine to browse. One of the salespersons was quite helpful in pointing me towards what I was looking for but also for making suggestions. I could tell he had a vast knowledge of the subject and had great advice. The store mostly caters to the higher end crowd so I ended up spending a bit more per bottle than normal.
This was a suggestion by the attendant when I asked for a “reasonably priced Chablis”. Chablis is a Chardonnay wine grown in the Burgundy region, specifically the northern region of Chablis (where the name comes from of course). We’ve had one or two from the region and enjoyed the colder climate profile of the Chardonnay, more crisp apple flavours than sweet tropical. He pointed me to this bottle as most of the others were well out of my price range. While not being specifically Chablis labelled he said it was an affordable Chardonnay from the Burgundy region, though I found out it is very much further south than the Chablis. I took this home looking forward to the Chablis experience. Upon opening it we realized this wine wasn’t what we were expecting. Though it had no faults, it wasn’t the Old World style we had wanted. That being said, it is still a decent wine for drinking.
See: This wine has a pale straw colour with light golden hues, quite low intensity, with thin legs. This all was in line with what I was expecting with the typical Burgundy white wine profile.
Smell: There are great aromas of tree fruit in this wine. Lots of apple, pear, and apricot. Along with the a bit of some floral and slate. This is not the steely mineral aromas that have come with other Burgundy’s we’ve had and so not what I expected. Still very pleasant though aromas. As this wine comes from a much further south the aromas tended towards more fruit forward and less minerally.
Taste: This wine has quite a fruit driven palate. More apples and pears, but almost some citrus like orange flavours around the edges. It is medium bodies with smooth velvety texture, almost oily but more refined. I’m not sure if this was oak aged but there is an element of wood in it, some spiciness, or nuts. Round this all out with crisp acidity, a long to medium length finish with flavours of wet stone, and it tastes great in the mouth. Not the really mineral taste I expect but once again a very pleasant wine to taste.
Conclusion: Even though this wine was not what we had expected it to be we did enjoy it. It is a fine example of Chardonnay that tends towards the New World style while hanging in on a few Old World attributes. There are no faults with this bottle and it all melds together well with the elements balanced. This wine is definitely not the Chablis I was looking for but if I could afford to I’d drink this one often. 8.5/10. I’d say if you are trying to break into the Old World white wines then this would be a great compromise between the steely minerality of the more northern Chablis and the fruit forward oaky New World style.
- France, Burgundy, Solutré-Pouilly
- 2012 – 13%
- Domaine du Grand Pré
- $25.99 at Kensington Wine Market
- Real cork
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