Domaine Alain Gautheron
Only 100 miles south of Paris, Chablis represents the northern limit of Burgundy`s wine regions, centred around the town of Auxerre. The soils are predominantly limestone and chalk, perfect for the Chardonnay grape, the only variety allowed in Chablis. Chablis, along with Champagne, is the original `cool climate region`, with frost being a common problem. However careful siting of south facing vineyards enables the vignerons to produce classic, dry, and steely wines. The most complex of these are produced from the seven Grand Cru vineyards which are all located on the northern slopes that overlook the town of Chablis itself, with famous names such as `Les Preuses` and `Grenouilles`. The Premier Cru vineyards are scattered around Chablis on the slopes of the valleys and here produce excellent quality wines with a little less intensity.
Domaine Gautheron is situated in the village of Fleys, to the east of the town of Chablis and overlooked by the steep slopes of les Fourneaux. This estate of only 25 hectares has been in the Gautheron family for five generations. The domaine makes traditional Chablis, with fermentation and maturation avoiding wood to preserve the fresh steely flavours and unique influence of the chalky vineyard soils. The old vine cuvees exceed 65 years old and are partly matured in oak. Since 2009 a 0.4ha plot of organic vineyard has produced the cuvee Emeraude.
The Gautheron estate has been family owned for five generations making very traditional Chablis from 25ha of vineyard. Their Chablis offers fresh, floral aromas, appley fruit and complex, rich mineral character derived from the subtle influence of the chalky vineyard soils. Fermentation and maturation is in vat to preserve the fresh steely flavours and lively balanced citrus finish.
A good aperitif and complement to oysters, shellfish, and grilled fish and with regional Burgundian food like parsley ham or cheeses.