Chablis Grand Cru: The seven top vineyards
Chablis Premier Cru: The next 12 best vineyards Petit Chablis: Now usually just sold as AC Chablis.
Regions and Styles: Whites: Chablis: Dry, green, steely, and made to be drunk young.
Petit Chablis: An AOC, but most growers prefer to sell it as Chablis.
Grand Cru Chablis: Expensive but frequently superb and more complex than Chablis. Needs many years to develop full depth of flavour.
Premier Cru Chablis: More complex than Chablis, but without depth of flavour or longevity as Grand Cru.
Sauvignon de St.Bris: An excellent Sauvignon: fresh, crisp and green with flavours of gooseberry and a bone dry finish.
Bourgogne Coulanges-la-Vineuse: Rare, light, delicate Pinot Noir.
Bourgogne Epineuil: Small quantities of light, fragrant reds.
Bourgogne Irancy: The best-known Chablis red, made from Pinot Noir with a little César. Light, perfumed, fresh and fruity. Best young but it will age.
Best vintages: 1990,1989,1988,1986,1985, 1983,1978.
BEAUJOLAIS Wine Region
The most southerly region of Burgundy, running to the west of the N6 motorway from the southern limits of the Macon to the suburbs of Lyon. Although only 30 miles by nine miles, it is one of France’s largest wine producing regions. More than 9,500 wine-makers produce an average 150 millions bottles a year from 55,000 acres of vineyards.
Gamay for the reds, a little white is made from Chardonnay.
Classification Wines from Beaujolais
Beaujolais: Any red or white from the region. Best drunk young
Beaujolais Supérieur: As above but one degree more alcohol. Tends to travel better.
Beaujolais Nouveau: A third of the harvest is sold as new wine in November, only two months after the grapes have been picked. Maceration Carbonique is used to produce this fresh, fun wine. The grapes are not pressed but placed in vats, where those at the bottom are crushed by the weight of those above. This starts fermentation resulting in a deep colored, very fruity wine with low tannin and high acidity, ideal for drinking young.
Beaujolais Rosé: Can be excellent, fresh, crisp and fruity.
Beaujolais Villages: One of the 39 villages, mostly in the north, producing wines with more body and fruit. The wine is released in the spring following the harvest. Can be aged.
Beaujolais Crus: Ten communes producing the region’s best wine which is full bodied and fruity. In good years this wine has great ageing potential. The Crus are: Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Côte de Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Régnié and St.Amour. Can be aged.
Tasting notes: Most Beaujolais is light, fruity, thirst- quenching and made to drink young and chilled, although the Nouveau improves no end if left until Christmas, or Easter in very good years. Only the Crus, full bodied and full of flavour, are made to last, and Morgan, Chénas and Moulin-à-Vent particularly can be kept for many years.
Best vintages: 1991,1989,1988,1985.