It’s almost impossible to find value in white Burgundy – the French version of chardonnay -- any more. The weak dollar and the myriad problems of the French wine industry are such that what used to be $15 and $18 wines cost $25 and $30, and the more expensive wines have been priced out of reach for most of us. (And the problem is even worse for red Burgundy, where I can’t remember tasting a wine that cost less than $25 and was anywhere close to a value).
That’s why I was so excited to see the Domaine Camu (about $20). It’s still young, and took about 30 minutes to open up. But when it did, it was classic Chablis -- fresh green apple fruit and wonderfully balanced acid with what seemed like a touch of oak. This is interesting, of course, since most entry-level Chablis doesn’t have oak. The 2006 vintage was an odd one for Chablis, and many of the wines I have tasted have not been very Chablis-like, lacking the acidity and freshness that the region is known for. But the Camu does, and $20 offers fine value. It’s worth a Saturday night splurge with roast chicken or grilled seafood.