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Louis Jadot St. Veran 2000
Occupying vineyards to the west and south of the village of Mâcon, the appellation of St-Véran interweaves with Pouilly-Fuissé, overlapping both the Mâconnais and Beaujolais. St-Véran includes a lot of what was once sold as Beaujolais Blanc. Grown on limestone, St-Véran whites' ageability and power fall somewhere in between the wines of Mâcon-Villages and Pouilly-Fuissé.
After subtle aromas of lemon, apricot, acacia and honeysuckle, on the palate a St-Véran (always made of Charodnnay) shows fresh focus and clarity while exhibiting roundness and harmonious balance. A great St-Véran will express notes of almond, hazelnut, cinnamon, butter or toast and sometimes an exotic twist of orange peel. Seafood risotto or pasta with mushrooms are perfect pairings.
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.