: For those who usually consider Chardonnay to be oaky, blousy, or buttery, this white Beaujalois might change your mind. As a true vegetarian, I recently paired this crisp and easy-drinking wine with a homemade pizza (yes, pizza) topped with olives, basil and fresh mozzarella, and it cut through the layers of salty flavor effortlessly. With a plate of pasta and asparagus ó notoriously difficult to pair with wine ó this wineís mineral and citrus flavors contrast well with the dishís green, vegetal complexity
Discovering brilliant, uncommon white wines is one of the joys of working in the wine business. While itís easy to turn to California, Chardonnay from Beaujolais often has the power to express the crisper potential of this white grape. The Domaine des Terres Dorées Beaujolais Blanc is an easygoing, joyful wine that is an example of the uncommon white wines that I love finding. This bottling is fermented in steel, so there are no oaky notes Ė just brilliant, pure flavors of lemon, pineapple, and minerals, plus a taunt, crisp palate and salinity that whets your thirst for more.
As many of you know, I have a preference for organic producers who express terroir. The brilliant, iconic and sometimes rebellious Jean-Paul Brun runs his 30-hectare Beaujolais estate organically, and is one of the very best producers in the region. Jean-Paul also believes quite strongly that grapes best express themselves with indigenous yeast, eschewing the industrial yeasts used by others in Beaujolais. In the early 1990s, he planted just a few hectares of Chardonnay on his limestone soils in Charnay, just north of Lyon, and has grown so much since then that he sometimes uses grapes from other producers. This Beaujolais Blanc is the continuation of the first cuvée he ever made from those grapes, and at under $20, itís a steal.