Unoaked $32 Premier Cru White Burgundy: Vibrant and Pure

Chablis is a singular place. Its combination of deep stony soils and cool climate exists nowhere else on earth. These factors produce a similarly unique wine — mineral and crisp, pure and clean.

Traditionally Chablis is made without oak influence. In recent years, modern vignerons have begun to oak their wines more aggressively, particularly among their higher-end cuvées. But winemaker Cyril Gautheron uses oak sparingly and carefully — when he thinks the wine doesn’t need it, he doesn’t use it.

Today’s wine, the Chablis 1er cru “Vaucoupin” is pure, shimmering Chardonnay. Gautheron keeps his entirely unoaked, allowing the stony soil to show through as delicate minerality. One taste and we think you’ll agree: the wine doesn’t lack anything.

The 2017 Vaucoupin is at once vibrant and voluminous. It shows a beautiful ripe core laid over an intense beam of stony freshness. This is pure, elegant, and remarkably long — it begins with flowers and fruit, and finishes (after a while) with freshness and minerality. The nose shows lemon rind and salt air; the mouth is long, tense, and full of energy.

It’s hard to imagine a purer interpretation of the Chardonnay grape, particularly under $35. The briny freshness of oysters (or a lemony-prepared fish) is a perfect foil for the brisk energy of the Vaucoupin.


Gautheron Chablis 1er “Vaucoupin” 2017
bottle price: $32

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