In the world of Burgundy – doubly so in terms of the whites – rarely do quantity and quality inhabit the same world. Enter the collection known as La Chablisienne; a selection of sublime Chardonnays so well-balanced and consistently well made as to render professional wine critics seemingly ecstatic year after year. Burghound – the most conservative writer I know – routinely refers to these offers as “strikingly long and harmonious”, while The Wine Spectator gushes with terms to include “intense”, “complex” and “terrific”.
Reading such grandiose reviews, one would surely think they were in the presence of one of the most limited production, impossible to acquire and therefore sky-high priced wines of the genre. After all, when mid to upper 90 point reviews start rolling around from Burghound (as in the case of the 2008 Les Preuses from La Chablisienne), we’re usually witnessing wines the likes of Leflaive Batard Montrachet or Niellon Chevalier Montrachet.
But Herve Tucki – Director of marketing for La Chablisienne – has a very different vision for the wine drinker. His firm, dedicated to “revealing the heart and soul of the wines of Chablis”, represents a collection of the finest small growers of the region. Founded in 1923, La Chablisienne has expanded to such a size that today it vinifies and markets nearly 35% of all of the wine bottled in the region. And it is precisely this element of scale that allows such quality from a firm that produces such quantity.
Further, since the 1950s, La Chablisienne now fully controls 100% of the vinification process to include vineyard work, bottling and aging. Whereas once they acted simply as a blender and wholesale merchant to the trade, today La Chablisienne acts more as a boutique wine-maker – albeit one of the largest “boutiques” one is likely to encounter. By incorporating the finest wine-makers with the greatest vineyard sites available in Chablis, La Chablisienne has truly accomplished what few (if any) other firms in Burgundy has been able to: combining high quality with terrific quantity to offer the discerning consumer outstanding prices on highly regarded, world-class wines.
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