In this article, we’ll compare Chablis and Chardonnay wines. The virtues of good wine are numerous, from health benefits to enhance your quality of life. But some types of wine have more to offer than others. Choosing between wines can be difficult, mainly since there are so many different types of wines, each with its own unique characteristics.
Chablis vs. Chardonnay
Chablis and Chardonnay are two standard varieties of white wine from the region of Burgundy. Spotting the main difference, these two varieties of wines have essentially been produced from the same grape. The basic differences between them are about where and how the grape is being made into two wines – Chablis and Chardonnay.
As a matter of fact, Chablis is a 100% varietal Chardonnay wine. But where Chablis differs is making the wine and its flavor from a customary Chardonnay.
Chardonnay is oak-aged, whereas Chablis is not oak-aged. Chablis is therefore considered purer and natural wine, with no butter, which oak-aged Chardonnay does have.
Other Important Differences Between Chablis and Chardonnay
1. Where are Chablis and Chardonnay found?
Chardonnay is grown all over the world. But according to French appellation law, wine marketed as ‘Chablis’ must be explicitly grown around the town of Chablis in Burgundy.
2. In how many flavors these two wines can blend?
‘Chardonnay wine’ can blend in quite different white wine grapes varieties, whereas Chablis is composed of 100% chardonnay. This information indicates that Chablis is less fruity, more acidic wine, and is soon used after the harvest.
3. How do the prices of Chablis and Chardonnay differ?
Chablis is relatively cheap; the price ranges from $5 – $10 to around $85 – $100 for classic Grand Cru Chablis. The cost of Chardonnay goes higher as it is produced worldwide. Chardonnay wines also differ from cheap to premium oak-aged vintages with differences in prices.
The main and minutes differences have been mentioned. Hence now let us look at both Chablis and Chardonnay distinctly.
More about Chablis
As already mentioned, Chablis is 100% Chardonnay. Chablis is found entirely around the Serein River that runs in the town of Chablis. It is also known as ‘the Northern chardonnay’ because most French Chardonnay is grown in the warmer climates of the south of Burgundy – particularly in the Maconnais.
Chablis is best known for its unique flavors like – apples, pear, and tree fruit. This wine never fails to provide a young and refreshing alternative to the Chardonnay that overdoes white wine shelves worldwide. Amazingly, today Chablis is so famous that it has hatched a category of its own in American vineyards, known as unoaked Chardonnay.
Types of Chablis
There are four types of Chablis: Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru.
1. Petit Chablis –
Petit Chablis is best as a light, new, and refreshing wine best enjoyed on a summer’s. Its price is excellent value for money and more reasonably priced than the other types of Chablis as you see the different types of Chablis in the hierarchy.
2. Chablis –
This is called austere Chablis – it is the most common type of Chablis, produced in most vineyards in Burgundy.
3. Chablis Premier Cru –
Chablis Premier Cru is best in taste notes from standard Chablis, with citrus, mango, and a bouquet of green tree fruits
4. Chablis Grand Guru –
Chablis Grand Cru is one of the best of all the types of Chablis wines – as it is best for aging. And the best part is the more exemplary examples are enjoyed up 12 and 13 years after bottling.
Chablis wine pairs amazing with shellfish fresh crustacean delicacies, which match brilliantly with young, crisp, acidic white wines like Chablis.
More about Chardonnay
Chardonnay is the world’s most well-known white wine. Chardonnay is produced all over France and Spain, Italy, etc., owing to its favorable adaptation to different climates and terroirs.
The most notable characteristic of oaked Chardonnay is the buttery or vanilla flavor, which is in big contrast to the natural palette of Unoaked Chablis.
Types of Chardonnay
There are four types of Chardonnay – Classic oaked Chardonnay, Unoaked Chardonnay, and Sparkling Chardonnay.
1. Classic Oaked Chardonnay
This is the most liked Chardonnay and also the most reached one. Oaked Chardonnay can be 100% chardonnay or with another kind of grapes, such as Chenin blanc. But the important feature is that this type of Chardonnay undergoes oak aging, depending on the type and quality of the oak, and that imparts a range of subtle additional flavors to the wine.
2. Unoaked Chardonnay
This Chardonnay is more like Chablis in which the wine is drunk young, without any post-fermentation aging. But, not all oak-aged Chardonnay is called Chablis; there are certain rules around the wine designations of Burgundy.
3. Sparkling Chardonnay
Blanc de Blancs, which means ‘whitest of whites’, is also called sparkling wine made from 100% chardonnay. Sparkling Chardonnay is rare but fantastic, but it’s worth trying to find some.
Which is better Chablis or Chardonnay?
Frankly speaking, it is really hard to say. It all depends on your choices and preferences. Although it is a fact that you find Chablis quite easily as compared to Chardonnay, as in some regions, the weather has an adverse effect on Chardonnay grape harvest, hence because of limited supply people moves to chablis even if they do not like a light wine. And trust me, at that time, Chablis is the best alternative one can get. So at times, Chablis is the best substitute if you can not find Chardonnay around your region. Hence people who like light wine like Chablis are certainly in a win-win state.
But if you and your friends prefer the creamy oaked taste, Chardonnay is the only thing you should get.
Notes on Chablis vs. Chardonnay
If you are a person who likes light white wine, Chablis would be the best choice. But if you like oaky, then choose Chardonnay.
As a matter of fact, for Chardonnay lovers Chablis is heaven! Sometimes you get tired of one kind of wine so for those wine lovers who have a habit of drinking Chardonnay, give your taste buds a happy shock.
I hope that this article on Chablis vs. Chardonnay has given a good understanding of both these popular wines. Therefore, you would now be able to choose the best one, according to your taste and style.