You may already know that many wines produced in different parts of the world are made from French grapes. Two of the most common, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, trace their origins and still stake their claim to fame from the great French wine region of Burgundy: Almost all red Burgundy is Pinot Noir, and almost all white Burgundy is Chardonnay-wines named after places rather than grape stocks. This month’s wine comes from one of the great Burgundy brands, William Fèvre, famous for its wide variety of Chablis.
Chablis is a Burgundy wine made from the Chardonnay grape, and it comes in four appellations: Petit Chablis (the least complex and least expensive), Chablis, Premier Cru and Grand Cru (the most complex and priciest). All Chablis is normally mineral-like and crisp in its fruitiness-a far cry from most California Chardonnay. It can be well savored with shellfish, for example. One of the finest and most affordable Chablis is this issue’s Wine of the Month: William Fèvre Chablis Premier Cru Fourchaume Vignoble de Vaulorent 2004, whose lime and green-apple flavors are complemented by a chalky mineral quality and intense feel on the palate. Though one level down from grand cru status, Fourchaume is commonly recognized as one of the best premiers crus, which means that it can be purchased at a very good price for its quality, usually around $35 to $40.
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