ABC – Always BURGUNDIAN Chardonnay! by Danielle Gerbracht

Photo Easter Gerbracht 2014

We are almost two weeks into spring and a lot of the country is still looking at some cold, snowy or rainy weather and more of it to come.  Classic California, that can change in a few hours or overnight but I’m not hedging any bets as I plan for Easter.  Don’t get me wrong, if the sun bursts out and I can make it to the market for a Getariako Txakolina and some oysters I’ll be the first to jump in the car but I’m not holding my breath.  With that said, I think a wine with a little more body and structure will make for a great Easter white.

I’m a firm believer that everyone’s palate is different and wine should enhance your experience.  So, if you celebrate Easter every year with Franzia White Zin and making your great grandmother’s rabbit stew and it’s your favorite meal of the whole year than don’t let me stop you.  But, if you’re more likely to be dining on something creamy or with shellfish or pork and potatoes (or any great carb and butter) or you are just open to trying something new, then check out the 2012 Roland Lavantureux Chablis (, Grand Vin De Bourgogne, Imported by Kermit Lynch (

Although there is a great market for (and selection of) new world Chardonnays rich with toast and oak, too much rich food on rich wine may leave you wondering what you’re tasting, if anything at all!  Wine and food can mask each other if they are competing rather than complimenting each other.

Friends and I sat down and tasted through a selection of four chardonnays; one from Napa, California and three from Burgundy, France.  We found the 2012 Roland Lavantureux Chablis (found at my local Whole Foods for a mere $24) to be our favorite.  First we tasted all four on their own and then went back through a second time to try each wine with marconna almonds, baked crab dip and deviled eggs.  Here is what we found:

The 2012 Roland Lavantureux Chablis comes across as having the warm rich aromas found in wine that has been aged in oak but you can also find similar qualities when the wine has been aged “sur lie”.  Sur lie is the process of allowing wine to stay in contact with excess and expired yeast cells and ultimately adds complexity to the wine an or can help “soften” some of the acidity.  The Roland Lavantureux is clear and bright and a little richer in color than some of the other pale straw Chablis.  The nose has a little lemongrass and citrus, but also peach and honeysuckle.  There is great acidity but it is not austere.  The higher acidity helps showcase what is on your plate rather than overpower your meal.  Additionally if you’re going to be enjoying something rich and creamy like a corn soufflé, scallops, vichyssoise or even a puff pastry tart of sorts, the acidity will cut through some of that richness and give your pallet a fresh start.  Each bite will taste as bright and scrumptious as the first!




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