Jay McInerney went old-school in his new Wall Street Journal wine column this past weekend. And we say ‘old school’ not just because he quoted Mike D. of the Beastie Boys, who apparently has swapped Brass Monkey for a good glass of Chablis. (“One Lonely Beastie I Be, All By Myself With a Glass of Chablis?”) You can’t find a region more tradition-bound with clear pecking orders, descriptors and hierarchies than Burgundy, the larger appellation where Chablis resides.
Made from the Chardonnay grape, a good Chablis captures the essence of the soil in which it is grown – what some call “terroir” or a sense of place. With vineyards perched atop bedrock deposits composed of chalk and limestone and riddled with seashell fossils, commentators often describe Chablis with reference to sea imagery but also detect notes of limestone and even flint. These attributes make it the perfect pair to summer seafood and in particular raw oysters.
Though it inspires great passion, Burgundy can be fickle. As Jay puts it, with Burgundy: “One night you’re in heaven, the next night you get stood up, or slapped in the face. But when it’s good, there’s nothing quite like it.” The wine, that is. For a relatively inexpensive bottle, Jay finds the 2008 vintage of William Fèvre’s ‘Champs Royaux’ “has real Chablis character. A briney nose leads to a refreshingly citric slap of green-apple fruit. A great summer aperitif.” Fèvre’s ‘Champs Royaux’ also “rang the bell” of former WSJ columnists Dottie and John when they awarded the ‘Champs Royaux’ “Best Value” in their tasting six years ago.
Though Jay lists the price as $24, we couldn’t find this wine in NY for less than $25. We’re offering it at $21.50, $19.35 for 12 bottles or more. First come, first served with a call to Mike at (718) 797-9463.