Let’s start with Chablis. It is a region in the northern section of Burgundy – home to the one of the most famous white wines in France.
Chardonnay grapes are used to make the wine that is labeled Chablis. In this designated AOC Chablis region the wines are made in a very different style from other areas in Burgundy.
The climate is cooler which produces wines that are more dry and fresh and have more acidity than the characteristic Chardonnay which is rich and more bold.
The Chablis wines have a characteristic color of greenish-yellow in the glass. The young wines can have a green apple like acidity, with a minerality or flinty note. There are flavors of lemon and sometimes vanilla. This make Chablis a perfect pairing for mild fish, shrimp and salads with citrus or vinaigrette dressings.
There are some Chablis that will benefit from aging. The aging changes the wines notes to softer mellow flavors and will have more familiar characteristics of the Chardonnay grape.
Chablis and Chardonnay are made from the same grape. The wine produced from this one grape varies greatly based on the terroir of the vines and the vinification process (harvesting, fermentation and post-fermenting).
So if you like the rich and bold flavors of new world Chardonnay, i.e. from California, Chablis will be very different. There will be distinct differences in the flavors, aromas and tastes.
It’s a good time to try a new wine.