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2009 Chablis, Tête d’Or, Domaine Billaud-Simon, Burgundy, France

2009 Chablis, Tête d’Or, Domaine Billaud-Simon, Burgundy, France (£16.74, Domaine Direct, tel. 020 837 1142).  You will be needing an all purpose white this season in your cellar for accurate and impactful entertaining.  I favour wines with little or no oak and a broad food and wine matching repertoire for this purpose.  I also adore wines that are a little bit more expensive than normal, so that every time I open a bottle I feel like I am treating my palate and my guests.  I also require a wine that can perform aperitif duties, but also segue into starters, grazing, canapés or even main course fish and chicken dishes.  This spectacular Chablis is head and shoulders above anything else I have tasted in the last three months and this means that it is the number one white for this weighty task out of over 7000 samples.  Billaud-Simon is one of the most revered Chablis houses.  I first visited them nearly twenty years ago and noted that they were at the cutting edge of a new wave of crystalline, rapier-sharp, spankingly clean wines.  They have maintained this reputation with wines like this.  Made from old vines, this mineral-imbued Chardonnay is hauntingly beautiful, texturally sensual and effortlessly classy.  It is Catherine Deneuve in vinous form and I love it.

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