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DRINK: Guy Robin Chablis Vielles Vignes 2016
EAT: Tomales Bay Oysters
PLAY: “Summertime” - Sidney Bechet
“Vielles Vignes” means old vines in French and these Chardonnay vines are more than 40 years old, planted on ancient seabed, chalk and limestone soils right next door to the Grand Cru vineyards of the Chablis region in Northern Burgundy. I was really impressed by the crisp, laser like focus of this razor sharp Chablis, particularly with that classic touch of green apple, Meyer lemon and oyster shell with the slightest hint of watercress and green grass. It is stunning at this price, with the bright texture and a nice hint of creamy lees in the mid pallet. Thankfully they use no oak in the fermentation, instead opting for classic stainless steel fermentation and aging to preserve the tightness and fresh quality of the fruit. This is a beauty!
Shuck yourself a dozen or so Briny Tomales Bay oysters with a squeeze of lemon and you have a fantastic natural pairing for this wine. Don’t forget a crusty baguette and a ramekin of good French butter sprinkled with sea salt to make a complete meal. The high acid and briny notes of the wine come from the fossilized oyster shells and chalk found in the soil where these grapes grow up.“Summertime” is a Gershwin song from the musical “Porgy & Bess”, and this version by Sidney Bechet will put you right in a woven chair in a Parisian bistro, perfect for slurping oysters & dinking cold Chablis. Sydney was a creole clarinetist born in the 7th ward of New Orleans in 1897, and was imprisoned for nearly a year in Paris for accidentally shooting a woman, after a duel with another musician who had insulted him. His version of “Summertime” is a sultry, sweaty 1920’s Montmartre Paris bistro version and is the perfect accompaniment for this wine and oyster combination.