Having never stared a partridge in the eye, we’ll have to believe les gens de Champagne about the colour. Perhaps they still go out and shoot their dinner? Developed blanc de noirs or pale rosé? Research suggests it’s an old rosé de presse method to give a little colour. Anyway, there’s some aristocratic grapes in this, 75% Pinot Noir from Aÿ and 25% Chardonnay from Avise. Grand crus amongst grand crus perhaps? Fine definition of red fruit spiced with a touch of barrel that recedes as the bubbles burst. Sugar dusted raspberries, candied citrus and almost cinnamon, poised and precise, all cut into shape by pinpoint chalky acidity. Beautifully tailored, subtle, no flashy bling.
About 12% alcohol probably? Cork. Extremely thoughtful apero, thanks!
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.
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?
Pure Chardonnay from the Côtes des Blancs. Opens with some yeast and savoury smells, then goes all tight and steely, then becomes a sublime exercise in linear power contained by an exquisite lightness of being. The fruit is fine sweet citrus and perfumed quince skin. Touches of spice and the best ripe acidity leave a hauntingly long taste of enormous subtleness. Incredibly clean and fresh too. If bombast and sweetness matter most in Champagne, then you’ll miss the beauty of this quietly spoken angel.
12.50% alcohol. Cork. $75.
95 delicate points.
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.
Opened with a blast of fruit, seaside ozone and caramelised yeasty pastries in the background. Deep fruit flavours of icing sugar dusted raspberries for width and crystallised citrus for length. Finishes with deliciously mouthwatering acidity and a gorgeous touch of sweet brown spices. Perhaps that’s the oak? Not sure it’s noticeable if you didn’t know it was there? Really clean and full of impact from the first sip. Just got better as the bottle disappeared. The sort of natural fruit richness that’s starting to make tasty globally warmed Champagne seem a good deal.
12.50% alcohol. Cork. Not sure how much, generous friend indeed.
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.