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Albert Bichot Bourgogne Vieilles Vignes Chardonnay 2012
With a meal, this Chardonnay will use the charms of its aromatic palette on seafood, fish cooked in sauce or simply-prepared white meats. Trout with asparagus, chicken in white wine sauce or mountain cheese (Alps) are all make excellent companions.
Since 1350, the Bichot family has called Burgundy home. But, it was in 1831 that Bernard Bichot founded a merchant house bearing his name in Monthélie, a couple of kilometers south of Beaune. At the end of the 19th century, his grandson Albert Bichot took the family business into a new direction and created the winery, Maison Albert Bichot as we know it. The family heritage has been perpetuated from father to son since then. The family crest, consisting of a deer and antlers, has been synonymous with the winery since its inception.
Since 1996, Albéric Bichot has represented the 6th generation managing the winery. The winery’s mission is to utilize the best fruit possible to create the best wine and best expression of terroir. In the constant pursuit of accomplishing this mission, Albert Bichot has acquired 250 acres of vineyards in the most reputed growing areas throughout Burgundy. In addition to this expertise as a wine-grower, Albert Bichot carefully sources grapes with an extremely hands-on approach, in order to vinify many of its regional and village wines, enabling them to supply high quality wines with continuity. For these grapes sourced from our partner growers, quality, and a close partnership, are of the utmost importance.
Albert Bichot owns 6 Domaines set at the heart of 5 great vinicultural regions that make up Burgundy: Chablis, Cote de Nuits, Cote de Beaune, Cote Chalonnaise, and Beaujolais. Each estate consists of vineyards cultivated with sustainable practices, as well as facilities, cellars and dedicated winemaking teams devoted to wines of that Domaine and region.
The 6 estates include:
- Domaine Long-Depaquit in Chablis
- Chateau Gris in the Cote de Nuits (Nuits-St.-Georges)
- Domaine du Clos-Frantin in the Cote de Nuits (Nuits-St.-Georges)
- Domaine du Pavillon in the Cote de Beaune (Pommard)
- Domaine Adelie in the Cote Chalonnaise (Mercurey)
- Domaine du Rochegres in Beaujolais (Moulin-à-Vent)
A legendary wine region setting the benchmark for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay worldwide, Burgundy is a perennial favorite of many wine lovers. While the concept of ‘terroir’ reigns supreme here—soil type, elevation and angle of each slope—this is a region firmly rooted in tradition. Because of the Napoleonic Code requiring equal distribution of property and land among all heirs, vineyard ownership in Burgundy is extremely fragmented, with some growers responsible for just one or two rows of vines. This system has led to the predominance of the "negociant"—a merchant who purchases fruit from many different growers to vinify and bottle together.
Burgundy’s cool, continental climate and Jurassic limestone soils are perfect for the production of elegant, savory and mineral-driven Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with plenty of acidity. Vintage variation is of particular importance here, as weather conditions can be variable and unpredictable. In some years spring frost and hail must be overcome.
The Côte d’Or, a long and narrow escarpment, forms the heart of the region, split into the Côte de Nuits to the north and the Côte de Beaune to the south. The former is home to many of the world’s finest Pinot Noir wines, while Chardonnay plays a much more prominent role in the latter, though outstanding red and white are produced throughout. Other key appellations include the Côte Chalonnaise, home to great value Pinot Noir and sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne. The Mâconnais produces soft and round, value-driven Chardonnay while Chablis, the northernmost region of Burgundy, is a paradise for any lover of bright, acid-driven and often age-worthy versions of the grape.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.
In the Glass
When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.
Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.
Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.