——- by Lynne Beeson & Averill Shepps——-
Following rave reviews from last year’s Burgundy event, Averill Shepps, will again provide a delightful tour of one of the most highly respected wine regions of the world—this time focusing on the grape many say better reflects Burgundy terroir than Pinot Noir—Chardonnay. Limestone soils in rolling hills, steep, sharp valleys, or rocky outcrops are of great importance to the character of Burgundy’s wines, bringing minerality and complexity – particularly to the whites. Because the Chardonnay grape is essentially subtle, it readily picks up flavors from the earth. It is the precise soil make-up and directional orientation of the best Burgundy vineyards that bring them the honor of Premier Cru or Grand Cru status.
The best Burgundies are spare, concentrated, focused and noble. If you have any hesitation about expanding your wine experience to these more expensive Chardonnay selections, please hand this article to a friend, close your eyes, and have her/him read the following Robert Parker description: “The great…combine an extraordinary perfume of apples, honey, vanilla, wet stones, and sometimes lemon, with flavors that range from smoky, buttery, and nutty tastes to orange and peach, and in the more opulent, ripe examples even tropical …mango, banana, and pineapple. What makes them so compelling is their precision and balance.” Wow—if you aren’t salivating, your friend should check your pulse. As enjoyable, habit-forming, and readily available new world Chardonnays may be; none offer the perfect balance and complexity of White Burgundy.
There is much to learn about these wines’ long history, including a bit about the geology of the area, how to find excellent quality wines, how to understand their rating system, etc. To be assured of good examples, we have turned to one of the best and highly respected importers of wine, Weygandt Wines. Those of you who have been around for a while know of their reliability and, by the way, more of their wines are showing up on the State Store shelves. They supplied wines for the much acclaimed red Burgundy tasting.
The current plan is to showcase two wines from Chablis, a Grand Cru and Premier Cru, four wines from the Côte de Beaune, again including Premier and Grand Cru examples as the budget allows, and a wine from the Côte Chalonnais along with another from the Maconnais, Both of the later wines will be more reasonably priced but not lacking in quality in any way.
Please join us on Friday, May 15th,7 p.m., at the Hilton Harrisburg for this outstanding tasting. You will be delighted you did!