4 minutes reading time (756 words)

Savary Chablis 2013

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25 year old vines grown in Jurassic soil loaded with oyster shells brings out a chalky minerality in this bone dry, green apple highlighted Chablis. 

From Kermit Lynch: In Maligny, a village well-poised between Paris and Dijon, just north of Chablis, Olivier Savary and his wife, Francine, have been vignerons since 1984. Though many of Olivier’s family members were vignerons, an unfortunate series of challenging harvests discouraged his parents from joining the family business. Chardonnay runs strongly through his veins, however, and Olivier pursued wine school in Dijon regardless of the fact that he would have no vines of his own. Olivier and Francine arranged to farm some vineyard land en métayage (share cropping) in the Chablis and Petit Chablis appellations. With his father at his side to farm the complex network of vineyards, Olivier initially sold off the majority of his production in bulk to a négociant. With some encouragement from his longtime neighbor and childhood friend, the famous Jean-Marie Raveneau, Olivier finally found his wings and began bottling under his own label. In 1990, Jean-Marie introduced Olivier to Kermit.

The Savarys have finally earned the recognition for their hard work, and are highly regarded in the appellation. The clay-limestone hillsides of the Kimmeridgian chain are excellent for growing dazzling, complex Chardonnay, also known here as “Beaunois.” However ideal the soil, Olivier brings his own brilliance to the table. The grapes from his vineyards throughout the Chablis appellation are blended into one fabulously complex village wine cuvée.  He also bottles an extraordinary premier cru from Fourchaumes, as well as a separate cuvée of old-vine fruit in heavy, wax-sealed bottles after élévage in demi-muids.  These exquisite wines are quintessential Chablis, with unmistakable aromas of ancient crushed shells and a pronounced, racy mineral structure.

 

With some encouragement from his longtime neighbor and childhood friend, the famous Jean-Marie Raveneau, Olivier finally found his wings and began bottling under his own label. In 1990, Jean-Marie introduced Olivier to Kermit. The Savarys have finally earned the recognition for their hard work, and are highly regarded in the appellation. The clay-limestone hillsides of the Kimmeridgian chain are excellent for growing dazzling, complex Chardonnay, also known here as “Beaunois.” However ideal the soil, Olivier brings his own brilliance to the table. The grapes from his vineyards throughout the Chablis appellation are blended into one fabulously complex village wine cuvée. He also bottles an extraordinary premier cru from Fourchaumes, as well as a separate cuvée of old-vine fruit in heavy, wax-sealed bottles after élévage in demi-muids. These exquisite wines are quintessential Chablis, with unmistakable aromas of ancient crushed shells and a pronounced, racy mineral structure. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant

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Sunny Brown of Wine Geeks says Kimmerdigian is one of the "10 Best Wine Soils"

A basin of limestone marl that starts in England runs all the way down through the vineyards of Champagne, the Loire Valley and ultimately Burgundy. It is on this ridge, known as the Kimmeridgian, that the best vineyards lie. The soil varies from hill to hill, but all contain at least some of this limestone clay which is heavy with nutrients from the fossils of shellfish from eons ago. 

The success of the vineyards perched atop this chalky soil has been widely known for centuries. Champagne was famous long before a certain monk put a few bubbles in the bottle by accident. The Grand Crus of Burgundy are separated by walls that date back to monastic times and names that hail from ages gone by. The Grand Cru of Corton-Charlemagne was said to be the said to be the king's favorite vineyard some 1,200 years ago. The best vineyards of the Loire mix limestone, clay and silica to form a flint and sand mixture known as silex

For just as long as they have been famous, attempts have been made to duplicate their successes. It was long thought that quality Pinot Noir could not be produced outside of Burgundy. Tasty sparkling wine is now made in many other parts of the world, but it is notChampagne. The best wines of the Loire Valley still hold a haunting mix of earth, fruit, structure and nuance that is impossible to duplicate elsewhere. 

It is in this spirit that I feel that the Kimmeridgian soil is the most famous and important on earth when it comes to fine wine. The quality, longevity and unique features of this particular blend of limestone and clay have driven the wine world for centuries. Battles have been won and lost, fortunes come and gone, and even nations have been created and remade in the time these wines have been famous. And for that, there is no comparison.

 

Hamilton Russell Chardonnay, South Africa
FLASH CLASS: FRENCH