Another terrific Chablis from young négociant and winemaker Patrick Piuze, a French Canadian who stopped to work the harvest in Burgundy 11 years ago and basically never went home again. After studying winemaking in Beaune, he oversaw Maison Olivier Leflaive's line of Chablis. Now he has his own project and makes a slew of classic grand cru and premier cru Chablis. Altogether, though, they add up to less than 10,000 cases — small by California standards.
The bargain continues to be his Petit Chablis, not an appellation you see around much. Basically, it's Chardonnay made from grapes grown at higher elevations or on mixed limestone soils in the Chablis region of northern Burgundy.
Lemony yellow and crisp, it is fermented with indigenous yeasts and shows off aromas of citrus, mostly lemon and grapefruit. Stern at first taste, it has a lovely texture and a finish that stays awhile.
Drink it with a platter of oysters or clams on the half shell, with a lobster roll or a grilled lobster. It's great with nutty cheeses too.
Price: About $20
Style: Crisp and nervy
What it goes with: Oysters, clams, lobster, cheese
Where to find it: Everson Royce in Pasadena, (626) 765-9334, Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463, K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463, Mission Wines in South Pasadena, (626) 403-9463, Silver Lake Wine in Los Angeles, (323) 662-9024, Vendome Liquors in Studio City, (818) 766-5272; the Wine Country in Signal Hill, (562) 597-8303, ; and the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731.