While on the topic of unoaked Chardonnays, here is another fine example. Gilbert Picq ages all of his wines in stainless steel to preserve the special character of wines from this region, located about halfway between Paris and the slopes of Burgundy.
The color is deeper than the Faively Montagny (below) but not yet showing any sign of advancing age. The aromas are classic Chablis: flint, minerals, citrus, bold and lively. This wine has many of the mineral qualities of a good Sancerre but is still unmistakeably Chardonnay from Chablis. A perfect accompaniment for seafood paella. The finish is piercing and could probably benefit from a bit more aging. I opened the wine a bit earlier than I ordinarily would because I had a few bottles of Picq Chablis from the 1996 and 1997 vintages that showed some premature oxidation. Whatever might have caused this premature oxidation, it should not be blamed on the vineyards nor the winemaking of Gilbert Picq. This is one of the finest and one of the best values in Chablis.