2014 La Chablisienne Chablis Le Finage

Australia’s two dominant supermarket leviathans both dabble in direct imports with Coles’ attempts even less well organised than their competitor’s hit and miss attempts. Coles’ fine wine arm, Vintage Cellars, somehow still manage to import La Chablisienne’s lovely wines without much obvious promotion which leads to some occasional irresistible discounts. The last was a “cellar frenzy” sale with this Chablis reduced to $21.50 a bottle in a six pack purchase. Don’t think credit card details have ever been so quickly entered. There’s always an anxious wait to see which vintage turns up as something as simple as stock rotation and customer service seem just too difficult. Worry turned to glee as four 2014s under Diam and two 2017s under screwcap turned up, as unlikely and as fist pumping as a Southampton home win. The Diam’s done a proper job as there’s a touch of lanolin reduction and a pale colour as things open up in the glass. Gentle Chardonnay smells and a soft palate that seems a bit dilute, oh well, it’s a cooperative wine. How wrong first impressions can be. Second day the airing had swept away the reduction and the colour deepened. Real Chablis perfume and flavour bite. Ripe citrus, quince, stony sweet green herbals, salinity and that sour lactic yoghurt twang. Delicious basic Chablis! Next one’s going to get double decanted and patience will be a virtue waiting a day for a sip. Six bottles doesn’t seem nearly enough now.

12.50% alcohol. Diam. $21.50, Coles’ shareholders may not be happy.

92 points but a lot of value Chablis pleasure.

2002 Domaine Christophe Perrot Minot Vosne Romanée Les Beaux Monts 1er Cru

Carefully carried all the way back from Paris to Melbourne surviving inept packing, baggage handling and a few years in cool storage. Research at the time suggested Perrot Minot had backed away from the mid nineties fashion of too much extraction and new oak in favour of more perfume and transparency. The helpful staff in the basement of delights at Lavinia in Paris encouraged the opinion in much better English than my French. Compared to current premier cru prices this looked a reasonable buy too. Fast forward fifteen years to Xmas eve 2019, all looks good, good fill level still, cork barely stained and removed in one piece. First sniff and a joyfully rich wild strawberry and spice fragrance, then….a musty, old hessian sack waft of, oh no, TCA. Foul language but a resigned shrug too. Life has a way of dealing with great expectations but, really, why are we still wedded to mid nineteenth century technology for our most precious drinks? Down the sink and head in the sand along with much larger issues like a warming planet perhaps?

No points just a grumpy old man who’s a bit worried at the moment.

2017 Moreau Naudet Chablis 1er cru Fôrets

From the Qantas Wine on line shop, 15,000 frequent flier points a bottle seemed like a good use for one who flies less frequently these days. That’s a lot of short flights to Adelaide and back. You can only wonder how such a small production, sought after bottle ended up amongst the usual commercial stuff on Qantas’ site? Probably should have waited a few years to open this as it’s a surly adolescent at the moment. Smells a little of oak spice and cedar with a fleeting waft of green citrus, sour lactics and chalk. Same sort of thing in terms of taste. The second day there’s some rich dry extract but still little fruit sweetness. A powerful event horizon of recent bottling and shipping half way around the world that seems to have swallowed any light of flavour. Happy there’s another bottle that’s gone to rest in a dark cool place for as long as both palate and patience may last. Think it’ll be worth the wait. Tree bark willing, of course.

12.50% alcohol. Cork. Good use of points.

93++ points. Experience with older good vintages from Moreau Naudet suggest a treat awaits.

2017 L’Anserige Chablis

Looks like this is a bottling for the ubiquitous French chain of Nicolas by the large and great quality cooperative, La Cave des Vignerons de Chablis. Certified organic too which is becoming a common thing in not just the more fashionable cavistes. This is just mouth-wateringly delicious text book Chablis. From first sniff to last wistful sip, a perfect demonstration of Chardonnay like no other. Rich in ripe green and yellow fruit and that chalky, yoghurt sour cut. Good volume for a basic, just not quite the intensity for the great, but so amazingly delicious. Impossible to put the glass down for anything but a moment to wonder how Chardonnay can taste like this and perhaps a nibble of another gougere.

12.50% alcohol. Cork. 17.50 euros.

93 points but more if terroir counts.

2005 Domaine Henri Richard Gevrey Chambertin Aux Corvées

Another raid on the stuff I’ve somehow managed to keep stashed. Make use of time, let not advantage slip. Thanks, Will, for the advice. Sweet autumnal maturity creeps up indeed. Wild strawberries, sweet earth and that savoury fresh charcuterie waft. Beautifully ripe and good intensity. Good extract of fine tannin and a snap of settled acidity. Lovely shape and purity. The well mannered perfume and richness of very good Côte de Nuits. Sigh, one less bottle left.

13% alcohol. Cork. About $50 pre arrival.

93 points plus for sheer poise.

2014 Pierre Matrot Meursault Perrières 1er cru

The second premier cru White Burgundy post and maybe the last unless cellardoor.co wrongly price a mixed six pack again. Very lucky to have spotted a half dozen from France for $165 which included this, a CNdP, a Champagne and three other OK bottles. Didn’t last long on the site before the sold out sign went up. Worth it too, as this opened beautifully with aromas of chestnut honey, hazelnut and…er..muesli, with a touch of lanolin sulphide. Meursault auto suggestion perhaps, honey and nuts? The same flavours across the palate with a profound cut of cool clean limestone acidity. Barely any sweet fruit flavour other than a hint of fig and quince. Enough to make you want an ancestral castle cellar full of such fleeting pleasure. Wonder if the Waughs, Evelyn and Auberon that is not the cricketers, would have wine blogged? Better prose than this.

13% alcohol. Cork. $27.50 on a very streaky average.

95 points.

2005 Domaine Pierre Amiot et Fils Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru Les Combottes

After this producer’s 2005 Morey St Denis 1er cru being very good but not great, it seemed a good idea to take this along to one of the three good BYO places within walking distance. Friday night noisey conviviality may not be the best place for lengthy wine pondering. Turned out the $20 corkage is a bargain as the wine was better than expected. Not only the food’s deliciously wine friendly but the owners of The Recreation have very acute palates. Half a glass blind and a confident stab at Burgundy was their verdict. OK, they know their stuff! Good Gabriel stems showed off the lovely perfume of really ripe wild strawberries and an earthy, ferrous, sweet charcuterie thing that Burgundy can do so well. Swirling around the mouth showed the same clean fresh fruit, some impeccable oak and silky tannin melded with delicious acidity. Perfect with The Recreation’s duck. Glad there’s two more stashed away.

Great to be able to drink something such good food deserves. Thanks, The Recreation Bistro + Bottle Shop, Queens Parade, North Fitzroy in inner north, dangerously left wing Melbourne.

13.50% alcohol. Cork. Was about $75 pre arrival, direct import.

95 points.