Chanson Pere & Fils Vire Clesse 2015
Chanson's holdings comprise some of Burgundy's most coveted vineyards. Located in the heart of the Côte de Beaune (the historical center of Burgundy) and surrounded by some of the greatest vineyards in the world, Chanson can count French philosophe Voltaire, romantic poet Lamartine, and the Bonaparte family among its clients.
Its celebrated bastion, a 15th-century fortress first rented and then acquired in 1794 to cellar the wines, is an internationally celebrated icon of Burgundy (the largest of six bastions that form part of the wall surrounding the city of Beaune).
To visit Chanson is to travel back in time and experience the magic of the 1000-year-old tradition of winemaking. Chanson still vinifies and cellars its wines in the bastion as it has for over 200 years. The 10-meter thick walls of this ancient fortress make it ideal for winemaking.
Inhabiting the best of the upper half of the Mâconnais, Viré-Clessé, created from the delineation of the two top Mâcon Villages, produces lively, charming and full-bodied whites (of Chardonnay). Lemon balm, verbena, white peach, and mint evolve with graceful age to quince jam, spice, pine and brown butter. The aromatic intensity of Viré-Clessé suits itself to herb-laden poultry, as well as sautéed shrimp or vegetables. It is also the perfect partner to Camembert or goat cheese.
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.