2003 Faux Chablis
I don't like what California Chardonnay has become. Indeed, in California-based competitions, my fellow judges often trim from the pack (as “atypical”) all but the fat shallow buttery toast bombs they have resigned themselves to expect.
In homage to the true Chablis of Bourgogne, our Napa knock-off imitates its lemon blossom aromas, firm structure, and mineral depth. The living soil Steve Krebs maintains in this beautifully balanced vineyard imparts to the finish a mineral electricity rarely seen in California whites. Bâtonnage sur lies and restrained use of well-seasoned oak impart rich structure, aromatic complexity and reductive strength that invite a few years’ cellaring.
Misappropriation of European place names is particularly disgraceful when used to embellish wines of low stature and unsuitable style. Our French friends find wry humor in America’s only pure-Chardonnay “chablis.”