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De Beaurepaire Chardonnays

Chardonnay – Queen of Wines

Chardonnay is often called the Queen of Wines, due to its ability to produce wines which improve with age and the sophisticated styles which can be produced from this noble variety. In a Burgundian context, it loves shallower soils with very good drainage. In the Champagne context, it performs best when the soils are only 30cm deep, like the Côte de Blancs, where it produces the most beautifully elegant (and expensive) Blanc de Blancs in the world.

Due to the similarity of terroir between our vineyard and those of our forebears in Burgundy, Chardonnay was always going to be a focus for us. As opposed to the traditional oaky, buttery classic Australian-styles, we seek a leaner, cleaner French-style of Chardonnay, reminiscent of the great Chardonnays of Burgundy.

Here at De Beaurepaire Wines, two very different Chardonnays within what we call the French-school. Interestingly, they are both from the same vintage (2016) and same area of our vineyard, so what separates them are purely differences in winemaking. They show the incredible stylistic range that Chardonnay possesses, which we hope will lead to more people exploring the Queen of Wines.

 

2016 ‘La Comtesse’ Chardonnay

‘La Comtesse’ Chardonnay is part of our French Heritage series and has been made with a less interventionist winemaking approach – where we have attempted to keep the terroir intact. Although this approach is more often found around Chablis, the outcome is a surprisingly rich, yet very clean Chardonnay – whereas the Great Chablis wines are better known for being quite linear and steely.

Due to the combination of styles within this wine – neither completely from the Chablis nor Côte de Beaune schools – it is to us a great reflection of our own terroir showing both the similarities and the differences to its French cousins. Therefore, we view it as a contemporary style, blending the best of Australian and French techniques to produce a delicious Chardonnay. One regular refers to it as their ‘verandah’ wine, to be drunk all afternoon.

‘La Comtesse’ is an elegant, rich, complex wine with soft mouth feel and crisp, clean finish. It exhibits delicious aromas of stone fruit, white peach and melon. It has been very lightly oaked to provide structure on the palate, rather than producing any oaky or vanilla textures.

‘La Comtesse’ is perfectly paired with all kinds of seafood and in particular lean fish (River Perch, Mahi Mahi, Cod, Tuna), shellfish (Oysters, Scallops, Prawns). Some beautiful dishes from these include simply cooked shellfish dishes such as spaghetti alla vongole or moules marinieres. Creamy cheeses like Brie and Camembert, white meats (chicken), light vegetarian and pasta dishes are also well matched.

The label painting is of our ancestor, Comtesse Marie-Louise de Beaurepaire, by one of the Grand Masters (Louis Michel Van Loo) whilst he was director of École Royale des Élèves Protégés, in 1766. The painted was his submission for that year’s Paris Salon (the French equivalent of Australia’s Archibald Prize)

For the full technical specifications, please click here

 

2016 ‘Jeannette’ Reserve Chardonnay

De Beaurepaire Wines Jeannette Chardonnay 2016

Jeannette Chardonnay is one of our Reserve wines and is made in a much more classic approach. This is similar to the techniques used on the Côte de Beaune which includes much more winemaker intervention in the process, including the use of more oak and some malolactic fermentation to produce a more structured, fuller style of Chardonnay.

Beautifully vibrant and clear, ‘Jeannette’ has a full body with complex aromatics and palate of citrus and stone fruits. Due to the use of new fine-grained and lightly toasted French oak hogsheads, the wine has excellent structure and has also softened through the lees contact provided by the use of these smaller barrels. The result is a full and complex palate with a creamy mouth feel, with very fine-grained lengthy tannins and long, flavoursome finish.

This is a chardonnay in all the senses of a Queen of the White wines. it will age gracefully for at least 20 years but can also be fully appreciated now, as shown by its recent award of Equal Best Chardonnay in the Winestate Magazine’s Wines of NSW Show in April 2018.

Classic chardonnay matches of shellfish (Oysters, Scallops, Lobster, Crab), fatty fish (Salmon, Ocean Perch, Bream) perform very well. Roast chicken, fish pies or stews and dishes with creamy sauces are also a beautiful accompaniment of this wine. One of our personal favourites is homemade gnocchi in creamy sauce. Vegetarian terrines, asparagus with hollandaise and smooth vegetable-based soups for the herbivore are also popular. ‘Jeannette’ can also be delicious paired with many cheeses, including blue cheese, and pâtés.

‘Jeannette’ is named for our mother/wife, Janet, whose favourite white variety is Chardonnay.

For the full technical specifications, please click here

 

Tempted by what you’re read? Why not pop into our cellar door to explore the differences for yourself, or you can buy both ‘La Comtesse’ and ‘Jeannette’ online by clicking here.

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