The Rat is the smallest of the 12 animals featured in the Zodiac cycle. It is nocturnal, acute, charming and versatile. The Petit Chablis is most appropriate to be likened to the Rat. Petit Chablis charms the nose with aromas of white blossom, citrus fruit and sometimes peach, and delights the palate with zesty and light sensation, while a roundedness balances the vibrant acidity, leaving the palate with a lasting impression. This may be Chablis’s ‘baby’ sister appellation, but it is not a ‘petit’ wine at all.
The Ox symbolizes diligence, dependability, strength and determination. It is treasured for its honest and steadfast nature. The red wine from Mercurey, one of the five Village appellations of the Côte Chalonnaise, aptly embodies these bovine characters in its rich, sturdy and meaty style, showing sometimes unyielding tannins in youth and rewarding lengthy cellaring allowing the tannins to become more rounded.
The Tiger is brave, competitive, unpredictable, and self-confident. What better to compare with the Tiger than the Pernand-Vergelesses Village appellation from the Côte de Beaune. The white wine of Pernand-Vergelesses displays confident upbringing, sharing some of the noble traits of neighbouring Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, with linear tension in youth, developing mineral-laden complexity with age. In red, Pernand-Vergelesses is fleshy and robust, confident in its balance, freshness and well-groomed structure, making it a fine and earlier-drinking alternative to nearby Corton Grand Cru that typically takes patience to reach its pinnacle.
Tame and gentle it may be, the Rabbit is a popular animal. People born in the year of the Rabbit display compassionate and sincere characters, and they thrive in the company of friends and family. Pouilly-Fuissé, a Village appellation from the Mâconnais is the most convivial of Bourgogne’s appellations. Elegant and full of charm, Pouilly-Fuissé entices with layered notes of hazelnut, almond, citrus, acacia, buttered brioche and honey, and an opulent texture and full-bodied structure. It is a straightforward, yet rich and complex wine, to accompany a diversity of cuisines and dishes.
The Dragon is the most powerful animal in the Zodiac range. The village of Morey-Saint-Denis in the Côte de Nuits could easily earn the enviable nickname of “Crête du Dragon” or the Dragon’s crest by counting 20 Premier Cru Climats and five Grand Cru appellations in the hillside above the village: Clos de la Roche, Clos Saint-Denis, Clos de Tart, Clos des Lambrays and sharing the Bonnes Mares appellation with Chambolle-Musigny. Stylistically, the red Morey-Saint-Denis Village appellation forms the bridge between Gevrey-Chambertin and Chambolle-Musigny, it is masculine, full and powerful in the mouth and marries well with game and meat dishes with intense flavours.
The Snake is enigmatic, intelligent and wise. Being the only Village appellation in Bourgogne that can appear in three colours – white, red and rosé, Marsannay delivers diversity and quality. It shares the sturdiness of neighbouring Fixin and the regal structure of Gevrey-Chambertin in the Côte de Nuits. Red Marsannay is powerful and generous on the palate, leading to a long meaty finish.
The free-roaming Horse is self-sufficient and energetic. The Chablis Premier Cru encompasses 40 different Climats across the two banks of River Serein, each with its unique typicity, depending on exposure and soil. Chablis Premier Cru can be tight and mineral or flowery and opulent in youth, depending on the Climat. It beguiles the wine-lover with its multitude of personalities.
The Goat treasures solitary moments to develop its creative thoughts. Similarly, Saint-Véran does not overwhelm the taster with opulent notes. This white wine appellation from the Mâconnais is fresh, full-bodied and luscious but dry and well-fruited, with good concentration backed by sufficient acidity. Perfect as an aperitif drink, but it can also stand up to pairing with creamy poultry or seafood dishes, thanks to its lively acidity.
The Monkey is witty, energetic and active, if sometimes lacking a little discipline. The Chablis Grand Cru is a worthy pairing companion with the Monkey. Jewel in the Crown for the Chablis range, the Chablis Grand Cru is a single appellation with seven different Climats emcompassing its multiple personalities. It can be firm and powerful like Les Clos or soft and rounded like Les Preuses.
The Rooster is observant, resourceful, honest and conservative. The Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru appellation from the Hill of Corton does not reveal all its promises in youth. It waits and takes a long and measured pace to achieve maturity, delivering its full power, complexity and long finish. It rewards the taster with the perfect balance between rounded opulence and remarkable acidity. Corton-Charlemagne is an astonishing demonstration of what the Chardonnay grape is capable of in terms of richness, power, concentration, distinction and balance. It epitomizes the perfect synthesis between grape variety and terroir which is so unique in Bourgogne.
The Dog is man’s best friend. It is loyal and honest, amiable and kind, cautious and prudent. Chablis is the perfect accompaniment to any form of gathering or dish. A good Chablis is never overpowering but lends its freshness, subtle complexity and structure to accompany dishes from international cuisines. Who doesn’t love Chablis and Oysters? And why not try dim sums or sushi with Chablis? The Chablis brandname alone stands for honesty, reliability and quality. In the hands of Chablis’s capable producers who have worked relentlessly to promote this world-famous brand, it never fails to deliver a readily recognizable style.
Finally, the Pig is diligent, generous and compassionate. People born in the Year of the Pig enjoy finer things but are never perceived as snobs. They are diligent, always in search of more knowledge. Beaune Premiers Crus are generous and fleshy, showing great aromatic power and solid texture, in both red and white colours, making them very respectable dinner companions.
An article from Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB)