Home | Extra Times | World of Bacchus | The Synonym for Pureness

The Synonym for Pureness

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

Situated some 100km NW of the regional capital Dijon, Chablis is virtually an exclave of Burgundy wines. Even more northerly than Irancy (one of the most northerly red-wine appellations in France) and Saint-Bris (the Burgundian specialist of Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris), Chablis is geographically closer to the Loire appellation of Sancerre and Champenois village of Les Receys than its Burgundian neighbours towards the south.
It is perhaps no surprise that Chablis’s Chardonnay is stylistically different from the rest of Burgundy. Unlike other white Burgundies, Chablis tends to be very restricted in the use of oak, thereby allowing the highly terroir-expressive Chardonnay to unmask and reveal its purity. With just under 5,000ha of vineyards, 100ha are designated as Grand Cru (7 in all) and 600ha as Premier Cru (40 in all), the rest being Chablis and Petit Chablis. Grown on Portlandian soil, which lacks the mineral-rich clay and marine fossils enjoyed by Kimmeridgian soil, Petit Chablis tends to be fruitier and more approachable, if less minerally.
A family estate with much heritage, Domaine des Malandes is an unusual story of a female pioneer of winemaker, Lyne Marchive. Her father was one of the first to plant vines and produce Petit Chablis. Born into one of the oldest families in Chablis – Tremblay – with at least 5 centuries of history in the region, she began running her own estate as early as 1972.
“It was not usual, and not easy either, for women to be winemakers at that time”, she recalled, “back then, men simply would not accept women as colleagues in winemaking, so we had to prove to our male colleagues that we could be equally competent”. If it takes sheer willpower and unflinching dedication to succeed, Lyne Marchive and her alter ego in Domaines des Malandes have excelled: she is revered as a leading female winemaker, which is still a minority in our day, and the estate’s fine produce has consistently received awards and high ratings.

Domaine des Malandes Chablis Premier Cru Côte de Léchet 2012
Light lemon-yellow with soft sunglow reflex, the delicate and lifted nose presents bergamot, green apple and greengage, infused with Pekoe white tea and decorated by orchard blossom. Supported by crispy acidity, the elegant and pristine palate supplies lime peel, yuzu, Tianjin pear, ume and a whiff of sea salt (fleur de sel). Medium-light bodied at 13%, the lively entry evolves into a composed mid-palate, leading to a purifying finish. Harmoniously balanced, this age-worthy wine is already drinking beautifully now.

Domaine des Malandes Chablis Premier Cru Vosgros 2011
Bright lemon-yellow with pale golden reflex, the minerally and refined nose offers kumquat, sudachi, apricot and hints of honey, elaborated with daffodil. Sustained by ample acidity, the focused and intense palate delivers lemon, pomelo and green apple, enriched with chamomile tisane and hints of flint (pierre à fusil). Medium-bodied at 13%, the fleshy entry transforms into a measured mid-palate, leading to a steely finish. Very well-balanced, this wine would benefit from further cellaring.

Exclusive Distributor: Omtis Fine Wines; W: www.omtisfinewines.com; E: sales@omtis.com; T: +852 2333 0241


Jacky I.F. Cheong is a legal professional by day and columnist by night. Having spent his formative years in Britain, France, and Germany, he regularly writes about wine, fine arts, classical music, and politics in several languages

Tagged as:

No tags for this article
  • Email to a friend Email to a friend
  • Print version Print version

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (0 posted)

total: | displaying:

Post your comment

Please enter the code you see in the image:


Responsible Right of Expression — In the interest of freedom of expression, coupled with a true sense of responsibility to encourage community dialogue, the Macau Daily Times offers its readers the opportunity to express their opinions on new-related matters through this website. All opinions are welcome. However, we reserve the right to remove comments that are deemed to be obscene, or are merely insults written under the cloak of anonymity. MDT