Finding chardonnay with character at prices that won’t break the bank is often a challenging proposition. With that in mind, I was pleasantly surprised the other day when I opened a bottle of Bourgogne, the broadest appellation in France’s Burgundy, where the region’s famed chardonnays (and pinot noirs) are made in very small quantities and command stratospheric prices.
J.J. Vincent’s 2008 Bourgogne Blanc, by contrast, provides real Burgundy character at the unbeatable price of $15 or under, according to retailers listed on wine-searcher.com. Few chardonnays I’ve tasted recently offer the level of complexity this one does at such a modest price.
I enjoyed sipping it on its own before dinner and then with grilled wild salmon marinated in soy sauce, maple syrup and lime. Notes of apple, orange and a touch of brown sugar are supported by refreshing acidity and a good deal of minerality on the finish. Oak treatment is subtle. I think this wine, with its roundness, has also benefited from a year or so in the bottle. It will match well with all kinds of seafood, shellfish, chicken and pork dishes. Alcohol is listed at 13 percent.
J.J. Vincent, by the way, is a leading winery in the Mâcon region of southern Burgundy and is best known for Pouilly-Fuissé, including wines produced by its famed Château-Fuissé. Imported by Frederick Wildman and Sons, New York. Received as a press sample.