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Delhi Wine Club
Champy Chardonnay for Connoisseurs

Posted: Monday, 29 July 2013 13:37

We Recommend: Champy Chardonnay for Connoisseurs

July 29: Chardonnay is perhaps the most common and popular of the white grapes having a wide spectrum of flavours, with Burgundy and California Chardonnay displaying the most impressive personalities due to terroir and varying amount of oak treatment. I recommend the Bourgogne Chardonnay from Maison Champy at a special price of Rs. 1950 a bottle in Gurgaon for connoisseurs who are serious about wine with their food even though the novices might find it a tad too oaky.

At a recent wine dinner at the Trident Hotel in Gurgaon, one of the main course options was Thai steamed Tasmanian barramundi with oriental vegetable slaw and stir fried vegetables. Due to the varieties of wines available, I was obliged to pair it with Gama Noir from Te Mata Estate in New Zealand, by far the most popular of the 5 wines we had showcased in the evening. But when I had this fish dish with the Champy Bourgogne Chardonnay, I realized the perfection in the match and how the right food could bring out the best in a wine-it was a classic match.

The same wine perhaps would be slightly oaky for most novices who might feel it a bit ‘strong’ when taken as an aperitif by itself or with light snacks, in which case the earlier Te Mata Sauvignon Blanc from Hawke’s Bay would be a better choice. Therefore, I would recommend this wine for Connoisseurs who are fond of wine with food.

An unoaked Chardonnay can have a wide spectrum of flavours, Chablis being a perfect example of a delicious but dry, mineral Chardonnay. Australian and American Chardonnays can be over-oaked to give them age-ability and make them more complex. Burgundy Chardonnays are generally middle-of-the range with Grand Cru wines really complex, concentrated, balanced and elegant… but very expensive!

Burgundy Primer

To be sure, Champy Chardonnay is not the highest appellation Bourgogne (Burgundy) Chardonnay. Burgundy AOC wines have four further layers of quality hierarchy. The very top is ruled by the Grand Crus where the mention of the vineyard alone is sufficient - Corton Charlemagne would be one such example. This is followed by the lesser Premier Cru wines where the name of the village and the vineyards may be mentioned. Next follows the Village appellation where the grapes used must be from a single village, each known for its terroir; for instance Puligny, Meursault and Savigny les Beaune are known for their white Bourgogne wines. At the bottom of the hierarchy are the regional AOC wines wherein the grapes from different villages may be used in the blend and are simply known as Appellation Bourgogne Controllee.

Maison Champy Bourgogne Chardonnay 2009 is a regional appellation. As the Appellation suggests, it is made from a blend of grapes mostly from Puligny, Meursault and Savigny les Beaune. It’s a pale golden colour, medium-bodied wine with a slight greenish tinge which has faded with time. Because of the part maturation of the wine in oak casks, the aromas have the distinct vanilla in the notes, besides citrus. It has a typical Burgundy character and even those who love richer and oakier California Chardonnays would find it very satisfying due to the complexity and long after-taste. Interestingly, it is bottled with a screw-cap to keep the freshness intact for longer period. The 2009 was bottled in 2010 and is drinking well now although it would be fine for at least the next couple of years.

A serious food-wine it would be perfect - besides fish and chicken, with chicken or vegetable Biryani, Risotto, pastas in white sauce, when served at slightly warmer temperature than lighter bodied unoaked wines like Chablis or Sauvignon Blanc; 12-14°C which would be the recommended temperature for all fuller bodied oaked Chardonnays.


Burgundy whites don’t come cheap in any category. With heavy taxation the spiraling effect is even more painful. In Gurgaon it is priced at a decent Rs.2600 a bottle. But in order to be recommended for our readers (useful for Delhi and Gurgaon for the time being since it is being registered n Gurgaon only-with a total production of 1150 cases for this vintage there couldn’t have been much quantity to go around the world) I had to arm-twist the importer NBD Spirits Pvt Ltd. to give a special no-profit price of Rs. 1950 inclusive of all taxes. for a limited period to the subscribers of delWine if they buy a case of 12 bottles. It is an offer a true Connoisseur can’t refuse! I always recommend 2-3 friends to join hands for such deals.

Please call S. Kukreja at 9910068284 for payments and delivery. As always, delWine has no commercial interest whatsoever in recommending the product. In case he hesitates, you may want to tell him that you read about the special offer in delWine! You may want to share your experience with the wine by sending us a Comment. For more information about the wine, visit the winery’s website.

Statutory warning: Only 2 bottles may be carried by a person across the state. Up to 5 liters of alcohol may be carried in your personal baggage by air. The minimum age to buy wine and consume in public is 25 years, the recent cases of bars and pubs in Gurgaon found selling liquor to under 18s notwithstanding.

Subhash Arora

Tags: Burgundy, California Chardonnay, Maison Champy, Trident Hotel, New Zealand



Sachin Singh Says:

It gives me immense pleasure to see the overwhelming response that Champy Bourgogne Chardonnay received at the wine Dinner. Looks like the brand Champy is getting its due recognition now. @Sujata Patil: Its nice to know that you worked so closely with Champy wine house. A huge like for your comment.

Posted @ July 30, 2013 13:40


Sujata Patil Says:

I have interned with Maison Champy when I studied wines in France and am a big fan of all their wines, especially the regional appellations, both red and white, but more so of the relatively lesser known Beaune appellation from Burgundy. Dimitri Bazas, their wine maker, works to produce some really fine expressions of the Beaune 1er Cru appellations. Since the time I worked with them (back in 2006), the company has grown in the size of estate they own. So I am sure they have several other additions to their portfolio, which are equally good as the wines I tasted or even better. I really, really understood the Burgundy wine-making philosophy thanks to my stint at Maison Champy. Here is to great success for one of my favourite Burgundy houses! :)

Posted @ July 30, 2013 12:03


Sachin Singh Says:

Dear Mr. Arora, Many many thanks for the wonderful article. Very well written. Its a great learning and a great pleasure working with you. Hats off. Sincere Thanks, Sachin Singh, Director NBD Spirits Pvt Ltd

Posted @ July 30, 2013 10:10


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