Val de Mercy
One of the most well-known wines, Chablis has been recognised in France as an ‘Appellation d’Origine Controlee’ , the French government’s system of recognition and classification of wines, since 1938. Since then it has become one of the world’s best known and iconic wines, associated with fine wines as well as an upmarket, everyday drink.
Chablis is actually the northernmost region in Burgundy and has been producing wines since Roman times. Today, the wines are almost exclusively Chardonnay, as with rest of the white wines of Burgundy. There are four classifications of Chablis including Grand Cru at the top then Premier Cru, followed by Chablis, then Petit Chablis. In terms of production, it’s easiest to think of it like a pyramid, with Grand Cru Chablis at the top, then Premier Cru, etc. Whilst many consider these levels as an indication of quality, this is simply not the case. Grand Cru Chablis is clearly at the top of the pyramid, quality (and price) wise, though it is not unusual for a Petit Chablis from a good producer, to consistently outperform lesser Chablis. This is certainly the case with Val de Mercy Petit Chablis.
Names like Laroche and Moreau have established themselves as market leaders in Chablis with dependable, good quality wines that are fairly consistent from one vintage to the next. There are however, a number of well-established, much smaller wineries, such as Val de Mercy, that will never occupy this space, simply because of their size and the fact that they focus their efforts on making great wines and are less au-fait with the marketing and promotion of their wines.
On the other side of the fence, there are also wineries producing cheap Chablis which are an affront to the name and should not be allowed to use the classification. Unfortunately, once and area has been awarded a classification in France, it is unusual for this to be changed, despite the abysmal quality of the wines produced by some.
We spent many months seeking out a Chablis that we would be happy to put our name to and approached over 150 different wineries and tried dozens of different wines. We chose and are proud to put our name against Domaine du Chateau de Val de Mercy. Their Chablis are in a league of their own and reflect a quality and finesse from the time when Chablis only ever crafted the highest quality wines.
The name, Chateau de Val de Mercy comes from the chateau that was bought by the current owners and is situated in the village of Val de Mercy. The ‘Domaine’ was added as the winery expanded to include other vineyards and appellations including Auxey-Duresses, Pommard, Volnay and other well-known red Burgundies.
With a focus on clean, fresh wines, Val de Mercy Chablis are traditional winemakers using modern winemaking techniques. Their wines are fermented in temperature controlled vats with no oak used in the fermentation process. The wines are therefore well balanced and complex delivering good minerality, clean fresh acidity and a breadth of flavours which encompasses lemon, grapefruit, green apples and white peaches.