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Christian Moreau's Assured Chablis

The 2007 Chablis Grand Cru Vaud?sir from Christian Moreau offers an elegant and pure minerality with very little oak

In the distant past of the 1970s and '80s, Chablis was one of those wines connoisseurs knew to avoid. This was not because it wasn't good??t was. It was because Chablis often was so overpriced. The trouble stemmed from the fact that it was one of the few wine names known to the general public. So when a nervous neophyte wine drinker found himself confronted by a twenty-page wine list and a hovering sommelier contemptuously twirling his tastevin, he panicked. Then his eyes would land on a name he at least recognized, the familiar Chablis, so that's what he ordered. Quickly. And then with a sigh of relief he would hand back the list, wipe the sweat from his brow, and thank God that ordeal was over. Well, times and wine fashions change. California chardonnay took over the world, and now Chablis is once again an affordable option, especially if you want a lighter, less showy chardonnay. Yes, although it might not appear to have much in common with the oaky California version, Chablis is, in fact, a chardonnay. One has to be careful though. Many village Chablis can be thin and acidic, but the 1er and Grand Cru versions offer a wonderful display of clean, mineral-infused, citrusy zest. That is what I found in Chablis Grand Cru Vaud??sir 2007 from Christian Moreau ($60). It shows a grassy minerality on the nose with not a hint of oak, and a clean, elegant purity on the palate. It is marked by a granular minerality that's particularly noticeable on the long haunting finish that promises great things for the future. Give it a few years of bottle age and the angularity of the citrus flavors will have mellowed and the mineral-infused complexities of pure chardonnay-on-limestone will emerge. This is not by any stretch an aperitif wine, but bring on that dish of oysters or the crab salad appetizer and ah, now we're talking! When to Drink: Now, and for the next few years Breathing/Decanting: Half an hour breathing in the fridge really helps Food Pairing: Oysters and other cold shellfish Grapes: 100% chardonnay Appellation: Chablis Grand Cru Region: Chablis, Burgundy Country: France Price: $60 Availability: Limited Web Site: See more wines at Related Items ?Magnificent Montelena Cristom's Lovely, Low-Key Oregon Pinot Noirs Laurent-Perrier's Grand Blend

Nick Passmore is an independent wine writer and consultant based in New York. For five years he contributed a widely read monthly wine column to, in addition to which his work has appeared in such publications as Forbes, Discover, Town Country, the Robb Report, the Wine Enthusiast, Saveur, Sky, and Golf Connoisseur. He is currently Artisanal Editor for Four Seasons magazine and contributes the Nick Passmore: Wine of the Week column to He is also a judge at the widely respected annual Critics' Challenge wine competition.

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