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.
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.
A year since the last bottle and the time patiently lurking in the cupboard has enticed the latent fruit depth into focus. Impeccably clean, icing sugar coated citrus, quince, red apple and fine spice jumbled with ozone freshness and a small seasoning of brioche. Mineral acid tension. Great quality of fruit sweetness without any cloying dosage. A bottle between four vanished as quickly as appetites were sharpened. A magnum might not be too extravagant after all. Fantastic value from Champagne de Vigneron’s faultless direct import selections.
12% alcohol. Cork. About $55 pre arrival if memory serves, rarely.
93 points but extra bits for sheer yum.