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  • Writer's pictureJohn Paul Kaminga

Chablis: Gueguen, Remember the Name

How do you say "Gueguen"? Try "geh-ghen". Hope that helps.

This one's a no-brainer. Just buy a case (you'll get 12% off) and make sure you serve a bottle or two blind to the Chardonnay haters in your life. Do I need to go on?


Chablis is Chardonnay. You knew this already, but let's put some emphasis on it. Chablis is THE MOST distinctive Chardonnay in the world. We're not sure how anyone could disagree with this, but if you wanna talk about it, we're here.

Chablis is the northernmost wine of Burgundy. The climate of Chablis is cool and the soils are heavily influenced by ancient limestones. The vineyards of the Petit Chablis appellation are informed by Portlandian limestones that are found on the exposed wind-swept plateaus above the sheltered slopes that make up the Chablis appellation (including 1er and grand crus), where soils are derived from Kimmeridgian limestones. Much ado is made about the importance of Kimmeridgian soils, but it is likely that a great deal of the difference between Chablis and Petit Chablis is related to the warmth of sunny sheltered sites versus the chill of perpetually windy sites. Chablis, especially 1er and grand cru Chablis, tends to have more weight and ripeness than Petit Chablis, and although there's a strong argument for the superiority of the former, one should not write off Petit Chablis, and one should, of course, remember that the people who made the wine in your glass did as much to influence your opinion of their wine than did the climate, weather, soils, aspect... We're believers in terroir, but we also believe that the producer has the ultimate say in whether we'll appreciate terroir.

Long story short: producer is first, remember family names, and when it comes to Chablis, remember Celine and Fred Gueguen. They're really nice people, their vineyards are farmed organically (certification coming this year), and they make delicious wines that clearly express the qualities that make Chablis so distinctive. Their prices are also extraordinarily reasonable. We always keep their wines around.

A note on the vintage: The 2021 growing season was a disaster for so many producers in Burgundy, and Chablis was not spared. A devastating spring frost destroyed up to 80% of the crop, and the weather was cool and complicated through the summer. We haven't seen such a cool year since 2014, and the wines can justifiably be called "classic", with elevated acidity, tart crunchy fruit profiles, mineral flavors untrammeled by excessive ripeness and alcohol, tension and vivacity for days... There's a huge upside to the difficulties of 2021, but the wines will be rare, and you should act quickly if you want to have a supply of 2021 Chablis. I think it's fair to say that 2021 Chablis is obsession-worthy, and if you can't tell, I'm definitely obsessed.

Gueguen Petit Chablis 2021 - $20

Takes a bit of time to unwind in the glass. Aromas of lemon, lime, orange, green apple, vague herbal and green flowers... Tense and lively on the palate, juicy before turning crisp and refreshing, with delicate stony and salty nuances to offset the crunchy tart fruit.

Please email with order requests and any questions you may have.

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