Wine 101 | Meursault / by Christine Davis

Christine Davis has traveled extensively and explored the world of wine and food. Christine shares those adventures in her blog eatingfrench. You can also follow Christine on Twitter and Instagram.

Wine is tremendously true to its terrior

Wine is tremendously true to its terrior

“In wine there is truth,” said Pliny the Elder. Perhaps he was referring to its effects on our inhibitions; however, wine is also tremendously true to its terroir. There is a place in Burgundy, in the Côte de Beaune, where the soil and soleil are situated to create the most stunning vins de Bourgogne. Meursault is amazing in many ways, such as in its oakiness and unctuousness; Premier Cru Meursault even more so. Grand Cru Meursault does not exist, but to be honest it should; this wine is on solid ground.

The appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) is a French certification intended to protect the origin of an agricultural product and its name. It is meant to maintain the quality of a product in a specific geographical location. Meursault is an AOC and produces mainly white wine from Chardonnay grapes. On the slopes of the Côte-d’Or, limestone and poor topsoil provide the perfect vine-growing conditions. Aging in oak barrels continues the development of the iconic wine. It has buttery and nutty notes, and when aged can glow in a golden hue. If it sounds too good to be true, it only gets better: the richness of Meursault is balanced with citrus and floral hints and minerality. Think hazelnut tart with orange blossom honey ice cream.

Where can you find the genuine article? Maison Shaps is a small producer of fewer than 12,000 bottles per year in its cuverie and caves, which were once a garage. With minimal manipulation, the house allows the earth to do most of the toil, and the Premier Cru comes from a famous plot, “Les Charmes.” The wine is sold on the East Coast under Michael Shaps Wineworks. And if you are searching for accommodations in the commune of Meursault, the winery, which is part of a 200-year-old former vineyard workers' home, is available. "Le Charmelieu" is indeed charming, and was built on a strong foundation. The idyllic village is fortified with Roman walls and historic structures, such as castles and Saint-Nicolas church. Visit the site at http://www.maisonshaps.com/.