Chablis Dinner at The Chancery

Posted on Monday, 15th June 2015

I recently attended a ‘Gastronomy and Geology’ dinner where we went on a journey of discovery into the unique and mineral-laden qualities of the world of Chablis. Chablis is always made from Chardonnay, and what makes it special is that it has its roots in a seam of 155m year old fossilised oyster shells, the same ground that exists in the town of Kimmeridge, Dorset, and runs through parts of Champagne, the Loire valley and of course, Chablis.

The event was held at The Chancery where we saw an amazing four-course menu prepared by Chef Graham Long being paired with a variety of different quality Chablis wines. The evening began in the Chancery’s cellar bar with crab beignets and truffled cheese arancini canapés accompanied by an accessible Petit Chablis aperitif, a Dauvissat Petit Chablis 2012, which was fresh and clean on the palate. This Chablis is supposedly from an appellation which is the most lowly (Petit Chablis) but it is in fact Petit in name alone. This is because Dauvissat is arguably Chablis’ finest, most manicured domaine.

The Chancery - London Food Blog - Chablis

The Chancery – Chablis

Next we moved into The Chanery’s candlelit private dining room to begin our much-anticipated dinner. The first course was a raw scallop starter with cucumber jelly, avocado cream, sesame filo and shiso dressing which I adored. There was sweetness from the scallop, acidity from the dressing, and softness from both the jelly and the cream. The filo was also a nice touch as it added crunchiness to the dish.

The Chancery - London Food Blog - Marinated scallops

The Chancery – Marinated scallops

We tried two wines with this course. The Garnier & Fils ‘Grains Dores’ 2012 is matured in expensive Austrian oak, and felt full with the flavour of ripened apples. The other wine, a 2014, was made by Louis Moreau, the President of the Union des Grands Crus de Chablis. Although it felt young, like a bit of a caterpillar that will turn into a butterfly over time, it brought citrus notes to the dish that worked beautifully with the scallops. Moreau benefits from an international outlook, having studied in California and England. Domaine Louis Moreau exports 85% of his production to 25 countries.

The second course was another lovely dish of tartare of trout. There was some poached apple running through the dish, and this added a delicate sweet acidity to the dish, which contrasted nicely with the earthiness of some nettle puree. There were also some crunchy macadamia nuts for added texture and trout eggs that provided little bursts of flavour and added seasoning to the dish.

The Chancery - London Food Blog - Trout tartare

The Chancery – Trout tartare

With this course we had two Chablis 1er Cru wines. The first was Jean Marc Brocard’s Montée de Tonerre 2011, from an area which nudges Chablis’ Grand Cru vineyards. It had intriguing, forward crystallised apricot notes with underlying butter and liquorice notes and even a touch of spice.
This contrasted with Val de Mercy’s Beauregard 2012 which comes from a sheltered area in the south west of the region and seemed nuttier. Both brought a lot of minerality to the tartare.

The main course was roasted quail with cannelloni of the leg and foie gras, sweetcorn, hazelnuts, pickled mushrooms and wild garlic. This was another great dish with lots of contrasting textures and flavours in the dish.

The Chancery - London Food Blog - Quail & cannelloni

The Chancery – Quail & cannelloni

We tried two expressions from Chablis’ seven grand crus with the quail, which can be found in a clump overlooking the town of Chablis and the River Serein. The first was William Fevre Les Clos 2012 which saw a judicious use of oak. The second was Samuel Billaud’s Les Preuses 2013, which is made from 70yr-old vines that Samuel rents. Both wines were bold and proved ‘big’ enough to work with the quail, a dish that traditionally would command a red wine.

Finally, to a mature Chablis from a heatwave year, Domaine Pinson Fôrets 2003. This wine showed how well wines from Chablis can age. Pinson make just 5,000 bottles per year. Still fresh, and very fragrant, with a honeyed nose and supple mouthfeel, it worked well with our final course, a largely local, Neal’s Yard cheeseboard.

The evening was a wonderful journey into the world of Chablis wines and yet again showed how delicious food paired well with fabulous wines can really complete a dining experience.


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One Response to “Chablis Dinner at The Chancery”

  1. Douglas Blyde Says...

    Thanks so much for coming, and for your charming write up. Wishing you a happy weekend, Douglas.