Prieuré Saint Côme owner Jean-Marc Brocard has vines around the village of Préhy, planted on a mixture of the unique kimmeridgean and portlandian clay soils that lend such complexity and minerality to his wines. These are very much traditionally-made Chablis, vinified and aged in stainless-steel tank displaying racy and mouth-watering mineral flavours.
Chablis is Burgundy's northern most region, spanning 3,000 hectares centred around the town of Chablis itself in the départment of the Yonne near Auxerre. Though considered part of Burgundy, in terms of geography it is as close to Sancerre and Pouilly Sur Loire than it is to the Côte d'Or, and is also closer in terms of soils and climate. The vineyard area rolls around Chablis itself and 19 other villages. There are four levels of wine: Petit Chablis; Chablis; Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru and, of the latter, there are seven which sit prominently above the town of Chablis itself on sun-drenched south-facing slopes.
Soil is a very important factor in the quality and unique style of Chablis and can roughly be divided into two types, firstly Kimmeridgean. This is a kind of clay limestone with a large proportion of fossilized oyster shells. Chablis is on the edge of the Paris rock basin the other side of which is the Dorset village of Kimmeridge, from which the soil takes its name. The other soil type is Portlandien, a similar clay limestone structure without the same complexity, giving wines of slightly less sophistication and finesse. The former is the base of the Grands Crus and all of the best Premiers Crus and Chablis Villages vineyards, the latter, generally speaking, is the base for most of the outlying Petit Chablis area.
The northerly climate means that vintages can vary quite starkly; summers are mostly hot and sunny, though, with the variation in weather coming more into to play towards the end of the season. The greatest danger during the season is from frost, which can be devastating, so much of the vine-growers early season activity is spent devising ways to protect the vines. One of the more traditional is lighting ‘smudge pots’ throughout the vineyards, in an effort to get warm air circulating around the vines. The quantity and quality of wine produced can therefore vary from year to year. At its best Chablis is a uniquely steely mineral wine that can age extremely well.
An unoaked Chablis with delicate, apple and lemon aromas and the flinty mineral charm that Chablis is famed for. Well-balanced with pleasant and acidity a long finish, this would be great with poached turbot in white wine sauce.