- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Guillemot-Michel, Bourgogne Blanc “Champ Choley,” 2004, $20

Although chardonnay remains America’s favorite white wine grape, few American wine drinkers have much experience with chardonnay-based wines from Burgundy, the grape’s traditional home and still the source of the world’s most prized renditions.

That’s in part because good Burgundy can be very expensive and in part because the region is small, so there isn’t all that much good wine to go around. Wines from famed Cote d’Or communes such as Meursault and Montrachet remain out of reach for most of us.

Happily, conscientious vintners in less prestigious parts of Burgundy produce some excellent, less costly wines.

Good value is not a phrase usually associated with white Burgundy, but savvy shoppers can find just that with wines from the Maconnais region. Guillemot-Michel’s 2004 “Champ Choley” is a fine example. Made with organically farmed grapes grown on the thread of limestone that runs by the small village of Clesse, it displays the attributes that allow Burgundy to set the global standard for top-notch chardonnay.

Unlike most chardonnay wines made elsewhere, good Burgundy offers flavors other than those of just fruit and wood. This wine, for example, tastes of golden apples and pears with a hint of citrus but augments that fruity melange with stony, almost nutty undertones that give it delicacy as well as richness. That combination of subtlety and succulence makes it special — not just another chardonnay, but a true white Burgundy.

Try it alongside a simple roast chicken.

(Imported by Kysela Pere et Fils.)

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