To meet Gabriel Veissaire and enjoy a glass of chilled Chablis or any of our other wonderful wines, dine with us at Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse.
Head sommelier shares his love of Chablis
February 15, 2022
In the spotlight
Chablis enjoys a highly prestigious reputation as one of the most widely consumed appellations around the world. It’s a white Burgundy made from Chardonnay grapes, known locally as ‘Beaunois’. The local limestone soil and mild summers, followed by very long winters, provide ideal growing conditions for the grapes, and help to give the wine its much-loved rich yet fresh flavour.
Respect for winemakers
As part of my training to become a sommelier, I visited nearly 200 French vineyards estates in two years. It was an enriching experience as I was immediately in contact with winemakers, and could see their passion and dedication for what they do. Being a professional winemaker is a demanding role. It’s all about understanding and respecting the terroir, the ecosystem, and choosing the right cultivation and vinification methods.
Standing out from the crowd
If I have to choose just one wine estate to highlight for their Chablis, it has to be Raveneau. Founded in 1948 by the Raveneau and Dauvissat family, their vineyards are located around 98 miles/158km south-east of Paris, in the Bourgogne Franche-Comté region.
Chablis Grand Cru
In the 1960s and 1970s, François Raveneau bought Chablis Grand Cru vines and decided to promote his wine in the US. His family’s eight-hectare estate includes three Chablis Grands Crus and six Premiers Crus, which are among the greatest Chablis produced anywhere in the world.
Worth waiting for
Wines like these need time to mature and reach their full potential. I recommend that you taste them when they are have been aged for at least ten years, this is when their distinctive flowery and honey aromas can be fully appreciated and enjoyed.
The Domaine de Raveneau still works in the traditional way, remaining faithful to manual harvesting, ageing and vinification of the wines in barrels. Production is limited and because of its rarity, sales are allocated to the longest-standing customers only. The estate no longer takes on new requests so we are very fortunate to be able to offer these wines at Le Meurice.
When it comes to food, I like to pair Chablis with something very pure. It goes perfectly with the Normandy scallops selected by chef Amaury Bouhours, and served with a lightly spiced leek broth. It’s a winning combination that brings out the best of both the wine and the food, which is exactly what I’m looking for to recommend to our discerning guests.
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