What does Chablis Grand Cru mean?
The most prestigious of the appellations making up the Chablis pyramid, Chablis Grand Cru is distinguished by its vineyards located between 100 and 250 metres above sea level on the right bank of the Serein, the river that runs through this illustrious Burgundy vineyard.
Location and surface area of Chablis Grand Cru vineyard
An illustrious reference among white Burgundy wines, Chablis has 5 appellations: Petit-Chablis, Chablis Village, Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru.
At the origin of great white wines, the appellation Chablis Grand Cru oversees a vineyard which groups together 7 climats in addition to the terroir around the commune of Chablis (1.90 ha). The communes of production of the appellation are Chablis, Fyé, and Poinchy.
Representing 1% of the production in 2021, the Chablis Grand Cru appellation covers an area of nearly 100 hectares.
What is the history of Chablis Grand Cru?
On 13 January 1938, the Chablis appellation d'origine contrôlée was established. On the same date, a decree listed 7 Burgundy climats that could be named Chablis Grand Cru (Blanchot, Bougros, Les Clos, Les Grenouilles, Les Preuses, Valmur, Vaudésir), all located on the right bank of the Serein.
What is the difference between the Chablis Premier Cru, Chablis Village and Chablis Grand Cru appellations?
The Chablis Village appellation is a particularly extensive wine-growing area, covering 3,630 hectares on both sides of the Serein, spread over all the communes in the appellation.
With a surface area of 778 hectares, Chablis Premier Cru owes its uniqueness to its terroir which benefits from variable exposure, due to its location at an altitude of between 150 and 190 metres.
Situated at an altitude of between 100 and 250 metres exclusively on the right bank of the Serein, the vineyards of the Chablis Grand Cru appellation benefit from an ideal southern and eastern exposure.
Chablis Grand Cru: 7 exceptional climats
The Chablis Grand Cru appellation has 7 "climats." In Burgundy, this term refers to a well-defined plot of land.
These 7 iconic climats reveal their own geological and climatic specificities over the years and the vintages:
Chablis Grand Cru Blanchot white wine (12,11 ha)
Chablis Grand Cru Bougros white wine (15,09 ha)
Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos white wine (26,71 ha),
Chablis Grand Cru Grenouilles white wine (8,74 ha)
Chablis Grand Cru Preuses white wine (11,13 ha)
Chablis Grand Cru Valmur white wine (10,62 ha)
Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir white wine (13,37 ha)
All you need to know about the terroir of Chablis Grand Cru
Location and exposure
Situated at an altitude of between 100 and 250 metres on the right bank of the Serein and benefiting from an optimal exposure, the terroir of this appellation expresses with authenticity and finesse all the nuances of the flagship grape variety, Chardonnay.
Geology: iconic white wines from a unique terroir
The Chablis terroir owes its uniqueness to its geology, which originated over 150 million years ago, when Chablis was a vast inland sea. The subsoil is made up of grey marl, a mixture of clay and calcite, alternating with limestone banks, rich in fossils, including the famous little comma-shaped oyster, Ostrea Virgula.
Climate: vines under semi-continental influence
The Chablis Grand Cru appellation is located in a region of Burgundy with a semi-continental climate, with long, harsh winters and hot, dry summers.
Style of Chablis Grand Cru wines
The Chablis Grand Cru wines have a bright greenish-gold colour and a nose that combines mineral, floral and fruity fragrances with honey and almond notes. The palate exudes a perfect balance as well as a wide aromatic palette which is the unique signature of these great wines with exceptional ageing potential.
Ageing potential of the wines
A minimum of 10 years of ageing is recommended for a Chablis Grand Cru wine to express its full potential.
Food and wine pairing
Thanks to its structure and aromatic richness, a Chablis Grand Cru wine is an ideal match for many dishes.
This white Burgundy wine is the ideal partner for oysters, shellfish (lobster, crayfish, lobster), fine fish, white meat or poultry in cream sauce. Another possible pairing is with foie gras. Indeed, the minerality of this wine ideally compensates for the bitterness of this dish.
For the best tasting, enjoy between 12 and 14°C.
Famous producers of the appellation
The elegance and minerality of Albert Bichot
With a history going back several centuries, the Albert Bichot estate is a major name among the great Chablis estates. Chablis Grand Cru Moutonne Monopole, Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos: this estate produces wines that delight with their freshness, aromatics and balance.
Chanson: Burgundian excellence for over two centuries
Les Preuses, Valmu: Chablis Grand Cru wines with an inimitable style by Chanson. Since its foundation in 1750, this illustrious Burgundy estate has been producing wines with a unique signature, harmoniously combining complexity and richness.
Domaine Laroche: the subtle alliance of minerality and elegance
With its history going back to the 9th century, Domaine Laroche oversees a terroir composed solely of Premier Crus and Grand Crus. Spread across 90 hectares, these vineyards produce precise, elegant and complex wines.
The expression of great vineyards by La Chablisienne
As one of the most important producers of Chablis, La Chablisienne produces Chablis Grand Cru wines combining refinement, balance and minerality, from the Grenouilles, Clos and Preuses climats.
Famous Chablis Grand Cru wines recognised by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Since the 1980s, Robert Parker has become one of the most influential international wine critics.
Founded in 1979 by Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate is a publication designed to publicise his ratings.
Here are some of the scores of Chablis Grand Cru white wines tasted by Robert Parker and his team of expert tasters:
Robert Parker awards La Chablisienne a score of 94 for its Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses 2017 white wine.
Domaine Laroche receives a 94+ rating from Robert Parker for its Chablis Grand Cru Blanchots Reserve Obédience 2017. Domaine William Fèvre is awarded a score of 96 for its Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2019.