More Chabbers dahling?
Referred to as ‘the little black dress of Chardonnay’ by the president of the Chablis Commission of the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne, Jean Francois Bordet, Chablis has been “paired” with British fashion designers to highlight the fashionable status of the region’s wines. For someone like myself who loves both fashion and Chablis, this is a marvellous opportunity to indulge in some slightly ridiculous speculation.
I was provided with a bottle of Petit Chablis and a bottle of Chablis to review. For those of you who aren’t au fait with French wines, Chablis is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. I’ve visited the charming small town of Chablis and the best vineyards slope down to a tributary of the river Yonne that runs through the town. The wines are unoaked being produced in steel vats and are characteristically flinty and mineral in flavour. First up was a Petit Chablis Domaine Dampt, Vieilles Vignes, 2015 (Laithwaite’s Wine £14.99) harvested from old vines aged between 50 and 70 years. Petit Chablis is the baby of the Chablis family with less depth of flavour than its more grown-up siblings. It had a pale gold colour with vibrant citrus and hazelnut notes and some lychee on the finish. It would be perfect as an aperitif or with fresh seafood, summer salads or firm cheeses such as Gruyère. Petit Chablis has been matched with Simone Rocha, the daughter of famous fashion designer John Rocha. Simone is an up-and-coming designer with shop-in-shops in Dover Street Market London, New York and Ginza as well as IT Beijing Market. She produces classic ready—to-wear fashion and like Petit Chablis has a fresh style with great ageing potential.
Stella McCartney is now an established icon of the British fashion scene and like Chablis – her vinous counterpart – she is at the cutting edge of the fashion world whilst also having an accessible side with affordable lines appearing at fashion chains. We tried a bottle of Chablis, Les Sentiers de Belène, 2015, Domaine Chanson (Tesco £15). Did it match up to Stella? A friend of mine once snogged the then teenage Stella on a train but he never described her aroma though I think it was probably more cider-based… he was rather shell-shocked when her dad Paul picked her up at the station. The wine comes from the established négociant house of Chanson, now owned by the Bollinger family. Winemaker Jean-Pierre Confuron has created an impressively flinty and mineral Chablis, with a buttery caramel finish and citric centre.
So you’re probably wondering which designers have been matched with the more powerful Premier Crus and Grand Crus wines? Well, I’m just waiting for the charming people at the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne to send me a couple of cases and I’m sure I could come up with some suggestions.
If you want to find out more about Chablis wines go to www.chabliswines.com