The folks at Kermit Lynch wine merchants started a minor twit-flagration the other day by tweeting this provocative quote from the esteemed importer himself: “To me Chardonnay means white Burgundy, and the rest are, for better or worse, pretenders to the throne.”
The descent immediately ignited, lead by P. Cap, the fastest saberer in the East. “DISAGREE!” he tweeted, adding “Agrapart, Bouchard, Larmandier, Salon… Dude this conversation is POINTLESS!!!”
Covering the other still wine versions of Chardonnay, he added, “Ganevat, Overnoy, Mt Eden! Anybody else gonna join this conversation???” Others did, suggesting Miani, Borgo del Tiglio, Clos du Mesnil, Leclapart, and Sandhi. Certainly the list could go on.
What do you think? The statement is certainly provocative and largely correct: From Chablis to Chassange, the whites of Burgundy amply demonstrate the heights of the grape, showing why it is one of the top in the world. But the quote is also unnecessarily antagonistic: The stylistic pendulum has swung toward white Burgundy among Chardonnay producers (and consumers) around the world. Rather than dismiss producers outside of Burgundy who make chardonnay as mere “pretenders to the throne,” why not be more encouraging, nodding and noting the stylistic shift while singling out some leaders? Or is it damning with faint praise to call them Burgundian? Well, it least it is praise, which tends to go down easier on social media.