The Most Unique Whites in the World: Uncovering the Magic of Chablis

Wine Club Miami goes all in with approachable Villages, complex Premier Crus and polished Grand Crus from the iconic French region

What’s the best wine and food pairing? For us, it doesn’t get much better than Chablis & Oysters.

Wine Club Miami’s second tasting of the year took place on Wednesday, February 21st at Joliet Miami Beach, where our club gathered to taste several impressive, yet very young, white wines from the Chablis region of central France. Thanks to chef Curtis and his team at Joliet, we were stacked (literally) with a tower of oysters and stone crabs to go with our mineral-driven bottles.

What did we drink? We warmed up our palates with a bright and aromatic ‘22 Petit Chablis on the list then went head first into the following beauties:

Laurent Tribut Chablis Villages 2021 ($60)

Roland Lavantureaux Chablis 1er Cru Vau de Vey 2021 ($74)

René et Vincent Dauvissat La Forêts 1er Cru Chablis 2019 ($200)

Jean-Claude Bessin Valmur Grand Cru 2021 ($84)

Domaine de L’Enclos Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir 2020 ($95)

The Villages was quite one dimensional but very fine and impeccably balanced with a light spice and white flower bouquet that lingered on the palate. A good warm up wine for sure. The premier crus had more salinity, making them ideal for the oysters to create a single thread of ocean flavor. The 2019 Dauvissat was very concentrated and super complex, but eager to please with dried honey and oyster shell notes. It could use more time to develop, and should be held for a few more years. Though we ran into this ‘opened too early’ dilemma, we defend opening young Chablis for this night because the wine tends to show very well early on, and doesn’t need 10+ years in the cellar to hit a peak.

The grand crus were favorites across the board, with a noticeable polish on the edges of the palate and superb texture driven by dense flavors of citrus and green apple. The Wine Advocate’s Chablis critic William Kelley said this about the Valmur we tasted: “As ever, it’s one of the best Chablis of the vintage.” Indeed. The Valmur was shy at the beginning, but you could sense magic waiting to happen. While we were deep in conversation, one of our members, David Yarus, pointed out the Valmur was opening up beautifully with layers of aroma and flavor. A statue being chiseled before our eyes!

Many say ‘Dauvissat is unquestionably Chablis’ greatest producer’. That may be, and it was indeed a favorite among a few, but the Valmur and Vaudesir stole the show grand cru style.