Discussion: What if the world’s best Chardonnay was from Canada?

The following is a discussion I started on Linkedin groups “Wines & Spirits,” and “Slow Food.” The discussion revolves around the announcement of a Canadian Chardonnay winning a world’s best title. Chardonnay is planted worldwide and as a “transportable” grape can produce wines of equal or better quality to its Burgundy counterparts. The warming of the planet has been changing the map of good areas for some wines and better Chardonnays can originate in regions formerly too cold. The names of the contributors have been abbreviated and all comments posted in best chronology regardless of the group of origin.

What if the world’s best Chardonnay was from Canada?

What if it is? Chardonnay is a transportable grape and has the potential to produce wines as noble and great as the ones in its original home in Burgundy at the right locations worldwide. How do you think that would turn out? The colder the climate, the less ripen the fruit, the lower the alcohol, and the higher the acid. That is moving away from Napa stuff and getting closer to Burgundy. Will it have the potential to age as Burgundy does or is good for apertif and drinking young like California? I don’t know much about the Canadian terrior and would like to know. (the original article at https://winebycush.wordpress.com/2009/06/12/worlds-best-chardonnay-from-canada/ ) What do you think of the Le Clos Jordanne Chardonnay 2005?

Posted 15 days ago | Delete discussionStephen P.

Wait ~ 20 years, maybe all of the chardonnay will be from Canada when the average daily temperature in Napa hits 103 degrees……

Posted 15 days ago | Reply Privately

Kooshyar D.

That is such a good point. I read the history of how Napa got big ( I was too young then) and it got warmer so Carneros was designated by the industry as the “cooler place” to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Now, that is getting warm too and the wines are heavier so they moved to Sonoma Coast. Judging by SC Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, I believe Napa was superb once but …..

Posted 13 days ago | Delete comment

Eelco K.

Wine is in the heart of the french men and part of its culture. To create the best chardonnay you have to make a good copy of what has been done in france, and that will be a hard job since in france there is lots of competition.

Posted 15 days ago | Reply Privately

Trevor H.

Eelco raises a good point. The involvement of Boisset Family Estates, sharing their expertise and best practices, was certainly important in Le Clos Jordanne’s evolution and ultimately having the Canadian chardonnay beat French competition in the Judgement of Montreal.

Posted 13 days ago | Reply Privately

Jim S.

The Best??? I dont understand a debate around “The Best” I have enjoyed lovely chards from Ontario…Tawse , Malivoire , Hidden Bench to name a few….and lovely Chards from France and Napa and Sonoma and Aussi ones as well….Drink them all!!! The best is defined by your taste…your pocket book…your company and your mood…

Posted 13 days ago | Reply Privately

Kooshyar D.

Ever heard the saying about horse racing that if a horse wins by a nose, it is the winner and you know the prize for the first place versus second and so on. That is what it is about. I wish it was about what us the wine drinking population thought was the best. It is about who gets to unload how many thousands of containers of wine first and for the highest price they could. I bet all the Chards you mentioned are great and your palate is right.

Posted 13 days ago | Delete comment

Ian J.

Wow. First off, the fact that there is a lot of competition in Burgundy has very little to do with the overall high quality in the wines there (climate, soil and tradition have more to do with this). Secondly, quality has very little to do with moving thousands of cases of wine, in fact, as you all know it is the producer who has a small production that generally makes a higher quality wine for many reasons. And finally, before I end up sounding like a total ass as usual, the analogy that wine competition is somehow like a horse race and whoever wins this race has the best wine is a bit ridiculous. Wineries can wine gold medals in state fairs judged by mostly novice wine people or get a billion Parker points and the only real information one can gather about this is that someone with a tremendously subjective palate or even someone that has no idea what they are doing wrote a score down for a wine. The fact that we all have different palates and different experience tasting wine makes it so subjective that it is very difficult to make the claim that one wine is better than the next. How does this translate into what the average consumer is going to like?
From a professional perspective I find it hard to believe that Canada will ever eclipse Burgundy, or even California for that matter, with chardonnay. The reasons are too long to go into in this discussion.

Posted 12 days ago | Reply Privately

Johanne M.

That’s right Ian!

Moreover, I would personnaly tend to question the value of a wine tasting competition organized by La Société des Alcools du Québec, especially when knowing they have an almost absolute monopoly for both imports and sales of wine in the province of Québec.

Posted 12 days ago | Reply Privately

Trevor H.

The Judgement of Montreal panel was a who’s who of Quebec wine writers: Marc Chapleau, Jean Aubry (Le Devoir), Gilles Magny (SAQ wine advisor), Patrick Désy (Cellier), Don Jean Léandri (École Hôtelière de Laval), Nadia Fournier (Le Guide du vin), Marc Lepage (SAQ wine advisor), Véronique Rivest (Châtelaine), Jacques Benoit (La Presse), Claude Langlois (Le Journal de Montréal) and Bill Zacharkiw (the Gazette).

Posted 12 days ago | Reply Privately

Adam V.

Worlds best chardonnay? Wouldn’t that be akin to stating you’re the worlds best “lady (or man) of the evening”. I get how Montrachet and DRC are the priciest Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in the world….but before we start talking about how great the terroir of North Korea is….lets say instead there are other places than Burgundy that can make great Chards and Pinots. And with that – there will be more good juice on the market. As a result of an abundance of surplus good juice….Canadian Chardonnays may never achieve the level of price and accolades that Montrachet has in past history. I’m guessing to compete in the future for the premium wine dollar you will need more than “terroir” and great wine making…..

Posted 10 days ago | Reply Privately

Kooshyar D.

I guess. Burgundy needs to be aged to achieve its best and many Chards happen elsewhere that are wonderful young. California had a good run and probably will never give up its claim to fame that it is so great. The competition will pull the buyers in other directions however. I think it is misunderstood that a wine has to beat the traditional best to achieve a status. Canadian Chardonnay needs the spotlight long enough to be recognized by consumers and it becomes an alternative in the marketplace. I think this is a more reasonable way of looking at why they compete for the recognition. Nobody has to beat anybody. They just need to push them aside long enough to be remembered.

Posted 10 days ago | Delete comment


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