Laroche, Chablis La Collegiale 2013, France
Chardonnay may be one of the best known wine grapes in the world and so hardly new, but it’s a case of re-birth rather than birth perhaps for the grape variety that everyone adored in the 1990s, but which went so spectacularly bust after the boom as we hit the naughties. People just grew so sick of sweet, oaky, vanilla-tasting Chardonnays that soon the ABC club was born (Anything But Chardonnay) and almost en masse we turned to Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and a supporting cast of fresh, zippy and – most importantly – unoaked varieties. Well, the big news is that Chardonnay is still very much around. Some of the worst perpetrators of the ‘in your face’ style from Australia, California and elsewhere have really cleaned up their act, producing Chardonnay that is much crisper, finer and wears its oak lightly. But Chablis in the north of Burgundy has always made its Chardonnay that way. And this is a great and moderately priced (at its special offer price) example that has all the fruit and texture you could ask for, but is dazzlingly fresh and vital too, a long shimmering lime and lemon core keeping it decisive. For more information and a full review, as well as food matching ideas, please watch the video, 15.99, Majestic, but note it is 11.99 through until February 2015.