Blason de Bourgogne 2008 Mâcon-Villages Chardonnay, Burgundy, France

Chablis, the original unoaked chardonnay refence, has generations-old reputation of producing crisp chardonnay based white wines. Blason de Bourgogne is a burgundy neighbour of Chablis that makes a strong argument for showing how wine-making styles vary within the same region. My sampling of a Blason de Bourgogne 2008 Mâcon-Villages showed a more supple version of the venerable white grape. Softer tree fruit showed through like bosc pear, perfumed with edible flower without any important minerality. Don’t look for great complexity in this wine, you won’t find it, but you will find an interesting harmonious arrangement that sounds like a chamber ensemble. I have picked a Georges Bizet piece, the menuet from the second movement of L’arlesienne. A piece that is not about the pizzaz of his omni-present Carmen opera, but an expression of the essence of beauty. It would be a pity to overlook this wine when on the hunt for viable alternatives to smoke-house chards that have cast an undeserved shadow on this very adaptable grape.

Why would anybody have a beef with a good Chardonnay? ( I hope you caught my double entendre there!) Sure there are some crummy chardonnay wines out there, but there are an amazingly wide variety of chardonnays out there that will satisfy you at any price point from virtually any wine growing region. The wine industry has responded to distance itself from oak-choked chardonnays that are the focus of the anti chardonnay tea party movement by differentiating themselves as “unoaked” or “cold climate.” Good marketing, in the short term but in the long run are they just making it more complicated than it needs to be. It is time to stop focusing on the grape variety and start re-focusing on making real wine. Grape juice, yeast and some sulphites for preservation should be the extent of the ingredient list. You would be surprised what else goes into a good amount of wines sold in the world. Maybe we should demand ingredients be listed wine, or that wine follow something similar to the Bavarian Purity Act for beer, that allows for nothing more than Barley, Hops, Yeast and Water.

Leave a comment and me know what wine you would match with this music.

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