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Jean-Claude Bessin Chablis 2000

Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
  • RP89
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Jean-Claude Bessin and his wife own and operate this estate in the Chablis region of Burgundy/France. Their Chardonnay is grown in four different vineyard locations (see below). Production averages 550 - 600 hectoliters (5,000 - 6,000 cases).

No oak is used in the production of their wines with 25% of the wine sold in bulk to negociant. Their first vintage in bottle was 1992 (but they began sells in bulk in 1990). Their wines are a good example of the differences in terroir: with the Chablis being open and flowing.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 89
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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Jean-Claude Bessin

Jean-Claude Bessin

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Jean-Claude Bessin, Burgundy, France
Jean-Claude Bessin and his wife own and operate this estate in the Chablis region of Burgundy/France. Their Chardonnay is grown in four different vineyard locations (see below). Production averages 550 - 600 hectoliters (5,000 - 6,000 cases). No oak is used in the production of their wines with 25% of the wine sold in bulk to negociant. Their first vintage in bottle was 1992 (but they began sells in bulk in 1990). These wines are a good example of the differences in Terroir: Chablis being open and flowing, "Montmains" harder and more mineral, Fourchaume rich and more exotic, "Valmur" having the most viscosity, power and length of finish. The Cru "Montmains" is always released last do to its close, mineral and acidic character when young.

Burgundy

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A legendary wine region setting the benchmark for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay worldwide, Burgundy is a perennial favorite of many wine lovers. After centuries of winemaking, the Burgundians have determined precisely which grape clone grows best on which plot of land. 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, marginal 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, white, and rosé are all 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.

Chardonnay

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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.

Perfect Pairings

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.

Sommelier Secret

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.

KPF10733_2000 Item# 59808