Alpine France - Chardonnay - Foudre (big wood)
Chardonnay is an international grape variety that originated in eastern central France, a natural cross between Pinot and Gouais Blanc. It is an immensely versatile and phenomenally popular variety. And for me it shines brightest in our cool climate.
The "Grosses Holz" (in German) or "Foudre" (in French) is the traditional large barrel. In our regions most wines are finished in a big barrel. Wineries will keep them for decades, sometimes generations. They offer textured surface and micro air exchange of barrels - the texture of wood without the flavour of wood. A large foudre is a phenomenal expense - they have to be mounted on site.
France is the great wine nation - but you won't find Bordeaux or classic Côtes du Rhône here! We head for the foothills of the Alps for far rarer, more interesting bottles.
Beaujolais is the "first hint of the Alps" and the home of fantastic Gamay.
Savoie is in the mountainous areas just south of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) and the border with Switzerland all the way to Lyon and the Rhone valley.
Beaujolais Villages Blanc Cuvée Chantemerle 2017, Jérome Lacondemine Jérome LacondemineThe fantastic Chantemerle Chardonnay
Beaujolais Villages Blanc Cuvée Chantemerle Jérome LacondemineA beautifully complex Chardonnay that ages like a dream