Old World Chardonnay: Chablis’s Francois La Pierre

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White Burgundy |Old World Chardonnay | Chablis’s Francois La Pierre

Château Rieussec  Sauternes 2001

It is possible to make ‘Bordeaux-inspired-blend’ wines in the Napa Valley and in Margaret River, they are so good that even to experts, they seem indistinguishable from those made in Bordeaux

It is the same with Sauvignon Blanc grown in New Zealand and in Chile, the quality is high and in more serious expressions that are oaked and offer texture and complexity, they are often mistaken for Sancerre from the Loire Valley, which is widely-recognised as the spiritual home of Sauvignon Blanc.

But there is one mystery, why can’t vintners make Chardonnay any where else with that specific sort of chalky, stony, saline, mineral-like quality we associate with Chablis? There are many theories – different clones, different micro-climates, wine-making styles but the most compelling theory of all….seems to be that of the limestone and clay soils that are still scattered with fossilised seashells and marine skeletons. The best Chablis vineyards grow on what was a prehistoric seabed; it’s these prehistoric fossils called Kimmeridgianthat are said (not scientifically proven) to impart the Chablisienne flavour .

What is even more interesting? This special soil layer rises to the surface around Chablis over an area of about 15 square miles before it sinks again, reappearing in Champagne, about a hundred miles north, and again in Britain at the White Cliffs of Dover!

The Chablis Hierachy

Chablis is one of the most famous names in white wine, so famous that from Prohibition up until the 1990s, international wine producers outside of France appropriated the name for their white wines (this practice is now illegal with trademark and brand protection, only Chablis can be labelled Chablis). 

As with all of Burgundy, tradition holds strong and Chablis vineyards are rated hierarchically starting at the bottom – Petit Chablis, then Chablis, Premier Cru and, at the pinnacle, Grand Cru. It is easy to make the monumental mistake of ruling that Petit Chablis is a ‘lesser Chablis’ because it’s not – they follow the high standards by the Chablis Commission, just made in a fresher, lighter, less complex for easy drinking. 

Chablis offers greater complexity, volume in the mouth, structure and persistence over Petit Chablis. Chablis in a nutshell simply has more depth and flavour than Petit Chablis, but both are fermented in steel tank with no oak contact.

On the other hand, Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru tend to see oak fermentation after initial fermentation in steel tanks, thereby combining oaked and non-oaked components. These two categories of Chablis are built to age, and select the fruit from the oldest vines from plots with the most sun exposure.

Professional Ratings

Finding a bargain in a region that makes one fiftieth (1/50) of the wines in Bordeaux, is increasingly difficult – prices have increased over 100% in the last 3 years, unprecedented even for Burgundy, a region that boasts some of the world’s most expensive wines. That’s what makes today’s recommendations the more exciting: Francois La Pierre‘s wines are what I categorise as an exceptional VALUE BUY. Francois La Pierre’s wines are made in a classic Chablis style, precise, fresh acidity with lemon peel notes together with aromatics of jasmine intermixed with an ocean breeze. The price point is especially attractive for the quality of the wines; for value-hunters, these set of wines are a must-have for the chiller, massive bang for buck. 

The FGJ Offer

After first dibs of this wine were offered to a privileged few, we have limited quantities remaining. This is not a parcel of wine that you should dismiss, the offer will run until the last bottle goes.

We have worked hard to source this parcel of wine with some hard negotiating and have passed the savings on to you – this is “below market price” Chablis on SALE!

  • Francois La Pierre Bourgogne Blanc 2014 – was RM126, now RM109
  • Francois La Pierre Chablis 2013 – was RM167, now RM145
  • Francois La Pierre Chablis Premier Cru 2014 – was RM184, now RM171
  • Francois La Pierre Grand Cru 2013 – was RM245, now RM213


We realise everyone loved the RIEDEL Glasses we gave away 2 weeks ago, so in the spirit of the festive cheer, we’re DOING IT AGAIN! We are giving away one RIEDEL CHARDONNAY glass for every three bottles purchased, it can be ANY three – you choose, we deliver.

*FREE Riedel Chardonnay Glass limited to 60 pieces

Festive Gift Wrapping Available, please enquire within

Prices are inclusive of GST