694 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 79 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2021
Indeed, this was the reason why many Napa wineries dropped Pinot Noir
from their offerings in the 1970s and ’80s.
The oceanic influence along the coast also explains why, generally
speaking, Sonoma Coast Chardonnays more closely resemble the wines of
Burgundy, characterized as they are by bright apple or citrus-like fruit and
a backbone of acidity. In contrast, the Chardonnays of Napa tend to be
plump, displaying flavours that lean toward tropical fruit.
LOCAL FLORA AND FAUNA
Those who do not believe that the aroma and flavour of wine can be influenced
by surrounding vegetation have yet to experience the wines of southern
France, where vines and scrubland grow together, or the wines of
Piemont in northern Italy, which can take on the influence of the truffles
that are buried in the region’s soils.
The French use the word “garrigue” to describe the aromatic herbs that
spot the southern countryside. The scents of wild rosemary, lavender,
thyme and sage permeate the air. The aromatic compounds from these
“scrubs” can become airborne and attach themselves to the grapes grown
nearby. Pour yourself a glass of Gigondas or a Côtes du Rhône Villages and
more often than not it will deliver a bouquet of “garrigue”—a mixture of the
lavender, rosemary and sage that form part of the wine’s terroir.
Here are some of examples of wines we have recently tasted that reflect our
idea of “somewhereness”.
LOUIS MICHEL & FILS CHABLIS 2018 $44 (Private Wine Stores)
There is perhaps no other wine that demonstrates so vividly its “terroir”
than Chablis. Chablis is located in the northern reaches of Burgundy and is
noted for its soil of clay and limestone, containing fossilized oyster and
other seashells left from prehistoric times. The wine of Chablis is made
from one hundred per cent Chardonnay grapes, but it provides a flavour
profile not found in New World Chardonnays. Louis Michel is a leading producer
of Chablis, and its wines provide a stellar example of the Chablis terroir.
The Michel family abandoned the use of oak over 50 years ago in
favour of stainless steel tanks in order to create a wine of freshness and
purity. The 2018 Chablis draws you in with an inviting bouquet, then
rewards you with a blast of citrus laced with mineral notes and salinity.
Enjoy this wine with fresh oysters or just about any seafood. In your search