There’s Chardonnay and then there’s Chardonnay that’s Chablis and this is firmly the latter despite being petit. Wonder what makes it so distinctive? Climate, weather, soil, clones, winemaking or all of these? Opens tightly and shyly but over three days the sweet citrus, yoghurt and iodine fruit just kept coming up for air. The acidity is pretty tingly but that’s Chablis and it’s not in any way sour or green, just mouthwatering. The only wish is for a touch more fruit density. A splash on a 2017 premier cru forthcoming methinks! Such a delicious drink.
12.50% alcohol. Screwcap luxe, what a good idea. $28.
Happily the contents of the bottle are a lot better than the label artwork. There’s a weird phenomenon with these traditionally made oxidative sorts inasmuch as this opened with a bit of a developed colour and a whiff of sherry but as it sucked in the air things just got fresher and paler. Real Chablis scents of sweet lemon yoghurt, flowery honey and the seaside. Beautifully weighted palate of pithy fruit and firm, caressing acidity. Second day it got even fresher, crisper and deeper fruited. Is this supposed to happen with white wine!? Beautiful texture and the last mouthful the best. Great vintage.
12.50% alcohol. Cork. $70.
Two halves and one full bottle made for a tasty and almost moderate dinner, sort of…
NV Louis Roederer Champagne Brut Premier.
Delicious from the gentle phttt of the cork. Rich but fresh. Older honeyed pastry and hazelnuts mixed perfectly with crystalline candied citrus and pale red fruit. Mouthwatering and appetite whetting likes no other drink. If NV’s job is to be full of delicious impact from the perfumed start, then this is the bee’s knees.
12.50% alcohol. Cork I think, maybe Diam, failing memory. Another generous share.
2013 Comm. G B Burlotto Barolo.
Clean, expressive and so savoury from the start. Perfect cherry red fruit, almond paste and stones. Just got fresher and deeper. Not the deep dark of Serralunga or Monforte but all the drive, brightness and perfume of the more north westerly bits of Barolo land. Somehow seemed much smaller than 375 mls. Alarmingly quick disappearance.
14% alcohol. Cork. Thanks for sharing.
1999 Domaine Tollot Beaut Corton Bressandes.
Dark, extractive and still a bit oaky. Got a bit fresher and deeper fruited as it came up for air. Rich red fruit conserve and darker clay and chalky earth. The rear end filled out well with dark cane fruit depth. Still some life in the tannin texture of both skin and cocoa oak buoyed by a gentle acid rasp. Shame the remains tired so quickly the next day.
14% alcohol. Cork. About $100 on release.
Seasonal treat from the dungeon. Wonderful clean freshness for an oldie. Good red colour, gloriously red fruited with an almost austere tug of great tannin and acidity. Remington Norman’s Burgundy book mentions the extremely low yields the Gouges favour and this bears that out. Dense, round and deep. Untrammelled by any new oak. Paradoxically succulent and firmly spartan, ballerina poise. All my golden russet autumns in a bottle and there’s a few of them now.
13% alcohol. Cork. Was about 35 euros, contributing to a very heavy carry on before the 100ml limit. Them were the days.
One of the joys of holidays in Paris is finding a new caviste with a small selection of consistently good choices. Even better if you realise you know not a lot about the producers on offer and the adventure keeps ending deliciously. So, hats off to the Marché St Martin again. Right from first sniff this is Chablis. Very slick wine making. Clean, almost sanitised, with a judicious seasoning of oak barrel. There’s some solid yellow and green fruit and that long, gentle but insistent acidity that makes Chablis so irresistible. So much wine, so little time and relative amounts of money. Next stop uncle Dan’s member specials.
13.00% alcohol. Cork. 18 euros.
Chablis is looking more expensive by the day even in France due to two really low crops, more demand and, well, it is Burgundy. The village of Chitry isn’t far away but doesn’t yet have the momentum and thank goodness with producers like this. Still one for the workers. From the cheese and wine oracle of Julhès in Paris’ tenth, this pure clean Chardonnay has a whiff of shells and sea but is really more like a good, cool grown new world version. Concentration and ripeness of honeyed citrus and stone fruit carry well to a firm but even acid cut. Not quite the mellow lactic mouth caress that makes Chablis difficult to stop drinking but the fruit quality makes up for it. Bargain.
13% alcohol. Cork. 12 euros.