純美 Pure Chablis
Chardonnay是許多葡萄酒愛好者的至愛，而Chablis是一個只種植Chardonnay 的地方，當地農民全心全意地種植Chardonnay實在令人欽佩。我常覺得Chablis的 Chardonnay與別不同，很好奇何以這個清涼的法國北部出產的Chardonnay在風格上相當多變，但又保留著它的清純和新鮮度。
Chardonnay is a favorite grape for many wine lovers and if there is one place in this world that is uniquely Chardonnay then it would have to be the Chablis region of France. As this region only produces Chardonnay, the dedication, which growers put into this single grape, is admirable. I have always found wines from Chablis to be different from other Chardonnays. I also find it a bit mysterious that this single region can produce wines that are quite varied in style although they all show purity and freshness grown in this cool northern French climate.
If you are flying into Paris, the Chablis region can be reached in about two hours. We first took a train to the town Auxerre and then transited by car to nearby Chablis. Once we arrived, I could feel the tranquility of the place. It’s cool but comfortable, the perfect season for travel!
Chablis 葡萄酒節在市中心的戶外舉行，在此你可品嚐Chablis 及周邊城鎮出產的葡萄酒，亦可享受以當地美酒配法國蝸牛及豬腸香腸Andouillettes等地道佳餚。我們在Chablis 葡萄酒節歡度了兩天，更有幸受邀請成為Confrerie Les Piliers Chablisiens的一員。
Should you be planning a trip to Chablis, I’d highly recommend late October as you can time your visit with the Fête des Vins de Chablis (Chablis Wine Festival). It is an outdoor event in the center of Chablis. You can try Chablis plus other local wines while enjoying food and wine pairing with local specialties like snails and Andouillettes! We thoroughly enjoyed the two- day festival and were so honored to be inducted into the Confrerie Les Piliers Chablisiens (Brotherhood of Chablis Pillars).
Soil and Climate Make a Difference
遊覽期間視察了Chablis及Petit Chablis兩個地方的土壤，為了符合Chablis Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC)的標準，Chablis土壤一定是Kimmeridgian黏土覆蓋著石灰岩，黏土中含有豐富的海洋生物化石，如小蠔殼，而Petit Chablis AOC的土壤則是Portlandian 鈣質粘土。
During a visit to Chablis, one should check out the soil. In order to qualify as Chablis Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC), the soil must be limestone overlaid with Kimmeridgian clay, which is very rich in marine fossils like tiny oysters, etc. On the other hand, the Petit Chablis AOC is from Portlandian calcareous clay.
This is why the wines taste differently between the two AOCs due to the different soil types. I found Chablis to be more mineral in taste like sea salts and chalk while Petit Chablis is more fresh fruit in style. Some might feel Chablis to be better than Petit Chablis but I’d say that they are simply different, just like brothers from the same family.
為再深層了解Chablis 葡萄酒的複雜性，Burgundy葡萄酒專家Eric Szablowski在早上帶我們步上Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos的山上俯瞰酒區。當越走越高，便感受到陽光、風、斜坡的陡度和坐向，以及山林的保護作用。
To dig deeper into the complexity of Chablis wine, we were guided by Burgundy Expert Eric Szablowski. We climbed the hill of Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos in the morning to have a bird’s eye view of the region. Once you reach the top, you start to feel the sun, the wind, witness the steepness and direction of the slopes and appreciate the protection from the forests behind you.
獨特的地質和氣候條件相結合，正因如此，Grand Cru 和 Premier Cru 葡萄田更能種出產更佳的葡萄。
The prestigious Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards are known for their ability to produce better grapes due to their unique combination of local geological and climatic conditions.
The Micro Terroirs of Chablis
Chablis有47個微風土，布根地人稱為“Climats”。要具體的在味道上區分特定的Climat並不容易，但通常發現在Serein 河流左岸的Premier Crus（含24 個Climats）葡萄酒，較右岸（含16個 Climats）的在結構上偏薄。
There are 47 micro-terroirs, termed “Climats” by the Burgundians. It is not easy to generalize about the taste of each specific Climat but you will usually find Premier Crus (with 24 Climats) on the left bank of the Serein River to have slightly less structure than those on the right bank (with 16 Climats).
As Chablis is a cool climate region so vineyards which can ripen grapes better, are able to produce wines of more concentration, complexity and depth. Thus the sun plays an important role here. We can see that all seven Climats of the Grand Cru are facing mostly South or South West. They get a lot of sun during the day and warmth is retained throughout the afternoon to help the grapes achieve optimal ripeness.
The Art of Wine Making
大家都以為葡萄酒豐富度會以Chablis，Chablis Premier Cru 至Chablis Grand Cru來逐級遞升。雖說大多數情況是這樣，但葡萄酒的風格也可以受釀酒技術所影響。
One might expect the wines to get richer from Chablis to Chablis Premier Cru up to Chablis Grand Cru. While this is mostly true, the style of the wines can also be influenced by winemaking techniques.
Most Chablis AOC wines receive no oak or minimal oak treatment so they will taste very pure of lemon and green apple with lots of acidity, energy and minerality.
至於Chablis Premier Cru，有些會使用橡木桶，這取決於Climat和釀酒師的意向。Premier Cru通常會有較長的餘韻和花香，水果風味會更加濃烈，連同酒糟陳年也會令酒的質感提升，這些酒能陳年5至10年之久。
For Chablis Premier Cru, some might receive oak, some might not, it depends on the Climat and the intention of the winemakers. The Premier Cru will usually have a longer aftertaste and the floral and fruit characters will be more intense. Extended lees ageing will also give more texture and these wines can age well in the bottle for 5 to 10 years.
對於Chablis Grand Cru，因為葡萄更為成熟和產量較低，葡萄酒會更加濃郁，而通常會使用高比例的新橡木桶來釀造。這樣生產的葡萄酒色澤更金黃，擁有成熟和濃烈的花香，具新鮮果酸，使口感豐富而不膩。柑橘和桃子搭上甜香料、奶油和堅果味，後段的礦物感更持久悠長。這類葡萄酒的陳年能力遠超10年，這樣優質的葡萄酒價格非常相宜，大家不妨多加留意。
For Chablis Grand Cru, as the grapes are more ripe and the yield is lower per plant, the wines will be more concentrated and oak will usually be employed with a higher percentage of new oak. The resulting wines will be more golden in colour, with a ripe and intense bouquet while on the palate, the wines will be rich but not dense due to the fresh acidity. A complex arrays of citrus and stone fruits will be intermingled with sweet spices, butter and nutty nuances while the minerality will be amplified especially on the finish. One could easily age a Grand Cru for over 10 years and such fine wines are of great value so do check it out in your local wine shops.
Food and Wine Pairing and Wineries Visits
我們路途上參觀了大大小小的酒莊，從大型合作社至家庭式的小酒莊。葡萄酒品質甚佳，亦非常配合當地美食，我極力推薦在 Chablis 的Au Fil du Zinc餐廳，你會感受到精緻美食和Chablis葡萄酒如何完美結合。美酒太多，篇幅有限，這裡為跟大家分享較出色的。
On my trip, I had the chance to visit properties of various sizes from the giant co-operatives to small family domains. The wines across the board are of good to excellent quality and they are very versatile for food pairing. I’d highly recommend Restaurant Au Fil du Zinc in Chablis where you can experience the marriage of fine cuisine with Chablis wines. There are too many wines that I have enjoyed and I will highlight those that stood out during our visits.
除了經典的Chablis葡萄酒，Maison Simonnet-Fèbvre出產的Cremant de Bourgogne 氣泡酒充滿著活潑的水果和幼細的氣泡。整個La Chablisienne系列都非常好，展示出Chablis各樣的風土、情感和礦物感！Pinson的Domaine Chablis誠實真摯而他們的L’ authentique Grand Cru Les Clos則非常宏偉。Domaine Alain Geoffroy擁有一個令人印象深刻的博物館而他的Vau Ligneau Premier Cru反映出他的地域風味。 Domaine Raveneau的Montée de Tonnerre Premier Cru十分優秀，葡萄酒豐富而富有層次。Domaine Laroche Reserve de l’Obedience Les Blanchots Grand Cru將複雜性和力量二合為一。
In addition to classic Chablis wines, Maison Simonnet-Fèbvre produces Cremant de Bourgogne sparkling wines with lovely fruit and fine bubbles. The whole range from La Chablisienne is great, showcasing the many terroirs, emotions and minerals of Chablis! Pinson’s Domaine Chablis is very honest and their L’authentique Grand Cru Les Clos has great exuberance. Domaine Alain Geoffroy runs an amazingly impressive museum and his Vau Ligneau Premier Cru is very terroir driven. Montée de Tonnerre Premier Cru at Domaine Raveneau is consistently excellent, a wine that is rich and full of layers. Domaine Laroche Reserve de l’Obedience Les Blanchots Grand Cru combines complexity and power into a complete package.
我非常感謝布根地葡萄酒業協會（ BIVB ）和法國食品協會安排了這次奇妙之旅。亦很榮幸有機會參觀和發掘Chablis的獨特風土以及所有出色的葡萄酒生產者。
I’d like to thank the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) and Sopexa for organizing this wonderful trip. I feel privileged to have the chance to visit and discover the uniqueness and fascinating terroirs of Chablis with all the amazingly dedicated wine producers.