Chablis white wine evokes the image of a lonely housewife of the 60s in suburbia, USA, caught between the era of the domesticated, Stepford wife role-model of the 50s and the liberated, independent-minded woman of the Women’s Rights Movement starting to emerge in the new decade. Something about the steely, cool, detached nature of Chablis seemed apropos for the inner turmoil of that 60s housewife—simmering inside with desperation and anger of being treated as a second-class citizen but on the outside having to maintain a veneer of steely, detached happiness. As we know, the liberation happened, bra-burning protest rallies et al., and Chablis would see the height of its popularity well into the late 80s. Old habits die hard, might be the explanation for the wine’s omnipresence. Or, perhaps, drinking Chablis was a psychological reminder of how far society had come, perhaps a symbol of newfound freedom.
Well, we understand why they drank Chablis then, but the question is: why drink Chablis now? Because, in its essential form, Chablis still remains the purest expression of the Chardonnay grape. And for a fundamentally brilliant, basic Chablis the CHRISTIAN MOREAU Chablis is one of the best that money can buy. The Moreau family has been making Chardonnay in the Chablis region of Burgundy for 200 years—how’s that for pedigree? The 2014 bottling, an excellent vintage in Burgundy by all accounts, is a treat to the senses. A gorgeous pale daffodil yellow in hue, you might not expect such a powerful, intoxicating perfume on the nose—bountiful notes of jasmine, acacia and white flowers, Mediterranean herbs, beeswax and lemon oil. Once the wine hits the palate the senses instinctively recognize the prestigious quality of a shimmeringly vibrant wine of absolutely clear focus and precision. The wine is an instant classic. Nostalgia is not the reason to drink Chablis. A white wine like this reminds us just how relevant retro wine can be in the modern era. –J.M.