Summer showstoppers: Premier Cru Chablis
Author: Adam Bruntlett
Burgundy Buyer Adam Bruntlett selects one of his favourite wines to enjoy alongside summer ingredients: a Premier Cru Chablis from Le Domaine d’Henri.
2019 Le Domaine d’Henri, Fourchaume, Chablis
What’s the story behind the wine?
Le Domaine d’Henri was set up by the famous Michel Laroche after he sold his business, Domaine Laroche. But he decided to keep back the best family vineyards for his children. The estate is therefore relatively young by Burgundian standards, making its first vintage in 2012. The domaine is now run mostly by the young and energetic Margaux Laroche, who has set the estate down a path of sustainability, starting the process of organic and biodynamic certification, harvesting by hand – quite unusual in much of Chablis – and using a low-intervention approach in the cellar.
Can you tell us more about the winemaking?
Fourchaume is a well-known Premier Cru and the domaine has a big holding here. The soil is deep clay, and the vines face south on a steep slope. This gives a generous and rounded style of Chablis with a soft, cashmere texture and spicy notes. The winemaking is very hands-off, with indigenous yeasts and very little sulphur added. The wine is made mostly in stainless steel tanks to preserve freshness, with a small proportion made in older barrels that give more weight and complexity without adding an obvious oak flavour.
Why are you enjoying this wine this summer?
Chablis is always a great summer wine because of its refreshing and mouth-watering character. This Premier Cru has slightly bolder flavours than the classic, steely Chablis, so while it would make a thirst-quenching apéritif, it’s also serious enough to carry through to the rest of the meal.
Do you have any favourite dishes or flavours to pair this with?
Chablis always goes well with seafood, pairing particularly well with shellfish such as oysters. But the slightly broader profile of this wine and its spicy character make it a great match for sushi or lightly spiced or curried dishes.
Buy Le Domaine d’Henri’s Chablis here