2017 Du Grappin Bourgogne Blanc

$32

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“Bourgogne Blanc Du Grappin is a “Tête de Cuvée”, five of our favourite barrels from our parcel of Chardonnay near the town of Péronne. These were large format barrels, three years-old on average, that had an extra layer of complexity that demanded bottling separately. Fermentation was done by native yeasts, as was malolactic conversion by naturally occurring lactic bacteria. We are lucky to have a great microbial ecosystem in our ancient winery in the walls of Beaune, continually used for winemaking for over 100 years!

This cuvée is richer than our Le Grappin wines, but also more joyous, with enough freshness to bring the rambunctious flavours to heel. For drinking now or over the next few years.”

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Chardonnay

As one of the most popular grapes for growing and consuming, Chardonnay can be made in a wide range of styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. These styles can vary from a sparkling Blanc de Blanc, or fresh fermented in stainless steel, to rich and creamy white wine aged in oak barrels. While Chardonnay can flourish in many environments, in its homeland of Burgundy it can produce some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. Whereas from California it can produce both oaky, buttery styles as well as leaner, European-inspired wines. A Somm secret: the Burguny subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style with high levels of acidity. Most people who do not like oaky/buttery Chardonnay may likely enjoy Chablis.

Notable regions for this grape include Burgundy (and Chablis) in France, Central Coast, Napa, and Sonoma in CA, and Western Australia.

When pairing with meals, consider the characteristics, flavors, and acidity of your food first. You always want to try to match the same characteristics and intensities with your wine. No brainer pairing options include seafood, salads, and white meat. Chardonnay, with its vast versatility, is everyone’s best friend.

Burgundy, France

Burgundy, AKA “Bourgogne,” is a small, historical region in east-central France that covers a wide area with ranging climates. The large number of producers and appellations within Burgundy can make the region seem complicated even to a seasoned wine pro, but fear not – the region need only be as complicated as you want it to be. At it’s essence, Burgundy can be quite simple. This is the home for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and these wines are second-to-none around the world with an influence that is huge in the world of vino. Burgundy winemakers were the pioneers for premium Chardonnay production and continue to provide a benchmark of excellence in viticulture and winemaking for all of their varieties. 

A vineyard’s location is extremely important here. The location will determine their quality level within the Burgundy appellation hierarchy. The highest-quality vineyards will generally have a south or east facing exposure providing the most access to sunlight and offering protection from westerly winds. These wines may be listed as premier cru or grand cru on the bottle label. Soils in Burgundy can vary depending on the area, but you’ll find many of them are rich in limestone. Pinot Noir is grown throughout the entire region and accounts for a third of the total vineyard area. Although a wide range of winemaking techniques are used varying by producer, a classic “Burgundian” Pinot Noir has red fruit flavors in youth that evolve into earth, game, and mushroom as the wine matures. These wines, as well as Chardonnay, can age for many years if stored properly. Other grape varieties include the red grape Gamay, famous to the Beaujolais region, and the white grape Aligoté. 

There are many smaller appellations within Burgundy, just like Bordeaux and other regions in France. These appellations include Chablis, the Côte d’Or, the Côte Chalonnaise, and Mâconnais. Each of these areas house many respected and highly-regarded villages and vineyards. 

Our vision for Le Grappin is to seek out special sites in the over-looked, under-appreciated reaches of Burgundy. We seek out viticulteurs who tend their vines throughout the year with exceptional care and attention, to give the grapes the best opportunity to shine. Our job is to ensure the wine reaches it’s true potential; working by hand, with small lots, giving each wine as much care and attention as our viticulteurs have paid to the vines.

Our Du Grappin wines are a natural off-shoot from Le Grappin; vins de soif, made to be delicious, fun and refreshing. We source our grapes from the passionate and revolutionary growers in the under-rated Mâconnais, Beaujolais and Rhône regions. We make them by hand in our ancient cuverie in the walls of Beaune, with as much care and attention as with our Le Grappin wines. The results are wines with vivacity and personality; a joy to drink. – Andrew & Emma Nielsen, Le Grappin

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