Unstuffy learning: Learning to love Chardonnay : Chablis Grand cru (4/4)

The pinnacle of the Chablis application is that of the Grand Crus. Just one hillside NorthEast of Paris show 7 plots of land on the hillside highlighting Chardonnay in all its glory.


Chablis Grand Crus (105 Hectares or 105 Rugby fields )



In recent years Chablis has endured a mixed love affair with its consumers. The 80’s and 90’s in Australia and USA put paid to the fact that over oaked whites was the way ahead. Little did those two countries realise that the image of that time was to stay until this very day. Most consumers still think there is a link between those days of big oak and the present day. As a result chardonnay is perceived as the least liked grape. Some of the best white wines are chardonnays as they offer diversity balance and elegance.  Chardonnay cannot be ignored !

So in the last of 4 parts. Chablis Grand Cru is explained.

Chablis Grand Cru

The Chablis Grand Cru appellation comprises seven Climats(or areas) :

Blanchot, Bougros, Les Clos, Grenouilles, Preuses, Valmur, and Vaudésir.

It is mainly produced in the village of Chablis, but also at Fyé and Poinchy.


A greenish-gold appearance and with age changes to a light yellow. Can keep for 10 to 15 years, One the nose, the mineral aromas of flint


are intense. They nonetheless give way to linden




a hint of honey


and almonds.


The Fairy Ring or mousseron mushroom aroma


is a typical touch.

On the palate, the balance is perfect between liveliness and body, encapsulating the charm of an inimitable and authentic wine. The jewel in the crown of Chablis is a wine rich in nuances that finds expression through each individual area.


Chablis Grand Cru can be found in the commune of Chablis and on the right bank of the Serein, the little river which runs through the region to the northeast of the village, and is at an elevation of between 100 and 250 meters. Enjoying an excellent sunny location, the Chablis Grand Cru appellation is unique. It is spread over seven Climats, whose names feature on the labels, each with a distinct character as the Chardonnay demonstrates its wonderful variations:

Blanchot, Bougros, Les Clos, Grenouilles, Preuses, Valmur and Vaudésir.


The terroirs, formed in the Upper Jurassic era, (150 million years ago), are composed of limestone and marl with tiny oyster fossils. Chablis Grand Cru is one of the rare French AOC wines to make reference to its geology, notably the Kimmeridgian age. The origins of which are in the Dorset villige of Kimmeridge

Map a9 copy

In Burgundy each Grand Cru vineyard has its own appellation. In Chablis Grand Cru there is only one vineyard but 7 plots

The total production surface area is 105.79 Ha

Area in production*:
1 hectare (ha) = 10,000 m² or 1 HA is 1x Internationally sized rugby field

Total area = 105.79 ha.
Blanchot: 12.39 ha.               12 x Rugby fields
Bougros: 15.79 ha.                15 x Rugby fields
Les Clos: 28.39 ha.                28 x Rugby fields
Grenouilles: 9.38 ha.           9 x Rugby fields
Preuses: 11.43 ha.                11 x  Rugby fields
Valmur: 11.04 ha.                  11 x Rugby fields
Vaudésir: 14.49 ha.               14 x Rugby fields 


Characteristics : Delicate and floral white flowers with little or no oak (especially Benoit Droin) SE Grand Cru location with a steep slope on white soil. Its setting makes it well positioned for good air flow and the sun is lost mid afternoon making it a cooler site than the other 6. This makes the wine have more finesse rather than power  Typical characteristics is White flowers


some producers don’t use wood (Benoit Droin) and some producers use Blanchot as the only Cru to mature in Oak (although very small in numbers )


 Lower on the slope and therefore more at risk of frost.  NW location of the Grand Crus. The character is Big soft and round. Only Fevre’s Cote de Bougerots shows minerality

 of chablis . as the rest are too low on the slope and can be unpredictable.

Les Clos

arguably the finest of the 7 areas. Situated on the right of the vineyard. Those vines at the bottom of the Les Clos plot are situated in deeper earth than this at the top of Les Clos. This results in fatter wines. Firm and austere racy minerality elegant

Les grenouilles.

Situated next to the road that runs at the base of the grand crus part of the steep slope of grenouilles plateaus out. This is where there is deeper soil. It is this deep soil that wines are richer and heavier as opposed to the mineral wines on the slope

Les Preuses

Sits above bougros on a gentle slope  and deeper topsoil, has fractured rock formation so has good drainage . Wines are not that aromatic but do age well .. Preuses is not an area different from all the others  it sits in the shadow of Vaudesir (especially the producer Dauvissat) Some areas retain heat better than other whilst the rest is on a lower slope and as a result is at risk of Frost



space between grenouilles and les Clos . The climate is important here. It beciomes very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter . This is because it sits in a valley and the cool air cannot dissapate. The reult is less aroma but with more body


The valley is enclosed with little air circulation  so intense summer heat   but it is more elegant and more floral than others. It is regard as second best (behind Les Clos.) Always retaining there minerality and the intense richness of fruit

2010 , 1990 ,
2012, 2005, 2002, 1996, ,1995,
1986,1985,1983, 2004,1994,1993,1982,1979

10791Pinson 2010 ,Chardonnay £45 each Berry Bros


2012 Chanson, £50 each Millesima


(label representative of producer)

Ravenau 1990 Chablis Grand Crus $1350 Rare wine Company

Every wine critic has there favourite plot not down to exclusivity or price or demand from consumers. But from the mere fact that each plot has different characteristics it is for the consumer to choose. Go for what you like and let people know what you want. Don’t stand on ceremony don’t feel like you are acting like a fool. Passionate people want to help you they don’t want to ridicule you. Embrace people’s desire to make you learn. Without it you won’t enjoy it as much. Go for it. !!!

Any questions please email me. contact thegrapewizard !

See list below for producers in Chablis

Australian Day – 26th Jan 2018 – ‘flamin heck!

Australia Day Friday 26th Jan 2018

This Friday (26th Jan 2018 ) sees the world 🌍 witness a global event. A crazy event where a country in the Southern Hemisphere takes park in”their” day.

Australia 🇦🇺 day celebrates everything that is good about its citizens about its life and what it is to be an Aussie

Forget corked hats

Image result for australians

kangaroos and dingos. Australia 🇦🇺 has moved on.

Aussies are known for enjoying a tipple or two 😉 but there is a lot to celebrate.

Australia Day is celebrated each year on the anniversary of the first fleet from Britain landing in Sydney Cove. Many Australians consider January 26 with national pride, flying the Australian flag from businesses, homes, cars and even their babies. They attend festivals, fireworks, community and sporting events or gather for family barbecues at homes, parks or on the beach.

However, there is also a growing movement of people who feel the holiday must change date or theme on account of the terrible impact of colonisation on indigenous people  

home for tens of thousands of years before European settlers arrived nearly 230 years ago.

The public holiday of Australia Day always occurs on January 26 no matter what day of the week it occurs. Many people become citizens of Australia on Australia Day at Citizenship Ceremonies across the nation.

It is also the day that the Australian Government awards the Order of Australia 

  to selected Australians, which is ‘an Australian society of honour for according recognition to Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or meritorious service’.

The beginnings of colonised Australia As a nation, Australia had a painful start. Under British rule it was initially intended as a penal colony. The ruling classes in 18th century England considered criminals to be incapable of rehabilitation. Their method of reprimand was to segregate convicts from the general population.

In October 1786, Arthur Phillip was appointed captain of the HMS Sirius, and assigned to transport British convicts to the continent. His mission was to establish an agricultural work camp. Captain Phillip commanded a fleet of 11 ships and 1,500 passengers, including 700 prisoners. After an 8-month journey, they reached Sydney Cove.

It was January 26, 1788 when the First Fleet landed in Sydney Cove. Between January 18 and 20, 1788, the First Fleet of 11 ships sailed into Botany Bay to set up a penal colony there but the bay proved to be unsuitable. Captain Phillip took a team north and named the area on the south shore of Port Jackson as Sydney Cove. The formal establishment of the colony occurred two weeks later on February 7.

The first colony got off to a rocky beginning as the soil was poor and the settlers didn’t know how to farm. The settlement was on the verge of starvation for several years. However, under the able leadership of Captain Phillip, the people persevered. By 1792, when he returned to England, the outpost was prospering. As a sense of patriotism and pride developed, the people began to consider January 26 as their founding day. In 1818, January 26 was declared a legal holiday, marking the 30th anniversary of the British settlement in Australia.

Over the next 80 years, the population steadily increased, and five additional self-governing colonies were created. On January 1, 1901, all six colonies united to form the Commonwealth of Australia.

Australian of the Year Awards Each year on January 26, an “Australian of the Year” award ceremony takes place. The lawns of Parliament House in Canberra are the site of this prestigious event. The awards go to four individuals who have made outstanding achievements. The award categories are:

• Australian of the Year

• Senior Australian of the Year

• Young Australian of the Year

• Australia’s Local Hero

Award recipients enjoy tea with the Prime Minister


Malcolm Turnbull

Then the honours are conducted from a podium in front of Parliament House.

Events across the country• Sydney Harbour Bridge flag-raising • Australia Day in Sydney starts at the Harbour with the 7:30am raising of the Aboriginal and Australian flags   on Sydney Harbour Bridge. This dramatic event begins with the lighting of an honorary fire at the Sydney Opera House, which is carried to the Tribal Warrior, an Aboriginal vessel. Bark canoes are then dispatched to meet the Tribal Warrior beneath Harbour Bridge. Fire from each of the tribes rises like incense as the Aboriginal and Australian flags are raised, paying tribute to the nation’s history.

• Sydney Ferrython • This unique race begins at 11am, when decorated commuter ferries depart Circular Quay for Shark Island and back to Sydney Harbour Bridge.

• Salute to Australia • A spectacular 21-Gun Salute to Australia takes place at 12pm under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

• Australia Day Harbour Parade • Starting at 12:45pm, vessels in colorful flair and flags loop around Sydney Harbour and finish at Athol Bay. At 2pm,

• Tall Ships race in Sydney

• Australia Day Regatta • The Australia Day Regatta begins at 1:15pm, featuring a line-up of traditional and classic yachts,

Melbourne• Australia Day Parade •t is preceded by a rousing flag-raising ceremony at 10:30am, at Melbourne Town Hall. The Governor of Victoria gives an Australia Day Address, accompanied by the Royal Guard of Honour. At 11am, the colourful parade begins.

Brisbane fireworks cap off a day of music, interactive art, and swimming.

Perth Perth’s Langley Park is the site of the state’s largest annual fireworks celebration.

For whats on in London please click on the link below

Austrailia Day – Parties and events in london

But that is the frivolity of the day. Here a a few wines to enjoy the day with…

Worth choosing……


 2013 Penfolds Grange

1 Penfolds Grange 2013

On the Nose


soy/ hoisin, balsamic reduction, kirsch and fresh raspberry.

black fruits, black liquorice,  black pudding, black fig, black cardamom….


Big Top vintage. Full of Character and lots going on. The fruit is big Shiraz but in a grown up sort of way. Different levels of charater in the experience of the tasting. Savoury notes as well. Can be drunk now but would do well if left for years and would become a “trusted old gent” … but it will hurt your wallet !

2 Image result for giant steps wine

Giant steps Chardonnay £34.99 Selfridges

Based in Yarra Valley, Giant Steps has won a reputation for making consistently excellent wines like the ‘Sexton Vineyard’ Chardonnay. Expressive, fresh and lengthy, the wine is yellow-gold in the glass and has notes of


white peach, lemon curd and melon. With touches of fennel and lime  


The Peppermint Paddock Red Sparkling Chambourcin NV

Abundant red fruit flavours, mixed with dried herb notes and edges of tarry tannins and mineral-like acidity.

Family owned d’Arenberg is located in the breathtaking McLaren Vale in South Australia, and produces an enviable range of wines. A vibrant purple and persistent mousse, the bead lively; a wine that tickles the nose as it tantalizes the palate.




The nose is a swirl of exotic spice, ripe plum 

and black olive, a heady mix that draws you back for another whiff of dark fruits

and a hint of cedar.

The palate is full and fresh, slightly sweet, showing strong flavours of
mint, black fruits  and Christmas spice.  

£19.95 Slurp.co.uk



Grape Wizard Vintages (best to worst in order)

2015, 2012, 2010, 2004,2003, 2001, 1996,1995

2016, 2014, 2008, 2006, 2005, 1991, 1990

2011, 2009, 2007, 2000, 1997, 1994, 1992

2013, 2002, 1993

So the most important thing is to enjoy tomorrow and to enjoy Australia Day

Drink Responsibly