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.
Peeling the top from the clear plastic capsule, what looked like a Diam peered out. So, let’s see how a favourite version of Chardonnay ages under something that has to be better than mouldy tree bark. Amazingly well would be the answer here after the usual Diam battle to get the thing out of the bottle. Beautifully fresh and fragrant with sweet citrus, floral honey, beeswax and savoury chalkiness. Great coiled power as it hits the tongue, totally focused with the purest fruit and perfect acidity. One of those so completely delicious drinks that the bottle seems to be desperately small. Despite all the words and points, the best measure of wine quality has to be just how sad it is to see an empty bottle. Incredible self control saw it last two days. On the second it just sung. Oh my goodness, what a profoundly delicious thing.
12.50% alcohol. Diam, what a good idea. About $60 at the time?
2005 was the last..er..great vintage of the century when the promise of Pinot nirvana led to fetishistic credit card bashing. Prices seemed daunting at the time, now they’re just the realm of the very rich. Time to start opening the trophies then! The colour of this is still a deepish red and opens up quickly with clean, almost new world scents of very ripe wild strawberries and deluxe oak. More Burgundian are the scents of sweet earth and a well maintained farmyard. The flavours again suggest strict clean making with pure red fruit and spice that sit well in the middle but don’t quite have that drive and finish of the best despite some more typically old world fine acid and emery board tannin. There’s that luxury oak too which is almost a sort of terroir thing for Burgundians. Close to great forests and barrel makers, they’re probably the best exponents of adding oak flavours that just work so well. Pretty rare occurrence for those of us who normally think tree flavours a curse! Lovely, safely made modern Pinot but perhaps not quite the electricity of the best Burgundy.
13.50% alcohol. Cork. Under a hundred once upon a time.
An appealing deep ruby colour sort of makes this look even more…er…drinkable. Fresh cherry and raspberries with some good crushed stone and wet soil to pleasantly complicate things. Good fresh haul of acid and just enough meshed fine tannin to invite food or another sip. 2017 looks good for ripeness and importantly freshness in Beaujolais. With basic Bourgogne over $50 a bottle now, this is terrific value.
12.50% alcohol. Screwcap. $26.
Starts as unmistakably Chablis albeit a little tightly wound with some dentally noticeable acidity. Time and oxygen are kind as the ripe autumnal cut apple, citrus and something sweetly green become an equal match to the structure. There’s a bit of sour lactic yoghurt too, with a short ‘o’ if you’re a Brexiteer where Chablis may end up as expensive as here in the wide brown land. Beautifully pure, chalky and no oak flavour too. Delicious.
12.50% alcohol. Cork. $42.
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.