by Fred McMillin
for October 21, 1999

 

The Best of the Best

 

Prologue

The best Chablis comes from the seven Grand Cru vineyards around the town of the same name in Burgundy. Grenouilles (greh-nwee) is the smallest of the Grand Crus and produces the most aromatic white wines. (Frank Prial, New York Times)

"The 1996 Grand Crus of Chablis will rank among the greatest dry white wines of the world. The '96 are the greatest in memory." (Terry Robarts, Wine Enthusiast)


Wine of the Day

Chablis Grand Cru Grenouilles 1996 Chablis Grand Cru Grenouilles
Albert Pic & Fils, Chablis, France
Importer—Maisons Marques & Domains USA, phone (510) 286-2000, FX (510) 286-2010, Michelle Armour or Tina Caputo
Vintage—The 1996 came out of my cellar. You may have to settle for the 1997, but it won't disappoint.
Composition—100% Chardonnay
Winemaking—Fermented and aged in stainless steel. No oak contact, but over half a year on the lees (flavor-giving sediment).
Character—Mineral, tart, more grapefruit than melon
Price—$54 for the 1996


Postscript

The town of Chablis is 110 miles southeast of Paris. White-robed Cistercian monks bought the village from black-robed Benedictine monks in 1118 A.D. They introduced a grape new to France...CHARDONNAY.

 
About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

 
 

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