The whites of the Cote D’Or, are the stuff of legend – Montrachet, Meursault, Corton-Charlemagne, as are those from further afield, Chablis, Pouilly-Fuissé and Macon. They are all dry chardonnay wines, but dryness is beautifully balanced with rich fruit, buttery hazelnuts and peaches. The whites tend to be earlier to drink than the reds, with Bourgogne Blanc often being ready after only two or three years, and some of the finer ‘crus’ starting to be ready after only a few more. Richer wines can be drunk alongside lighter meats but of course are often at their best with fish and shellfish: it is no surprise to learn, for example, that Chablis vines grow on rocks derived from the prehistoric shells of the oysters they now complement so well.
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