Domaine Ninot Rully La Barre 2005

We’re on a Chardonnay-fest here at Full Pour, with a mix of French, Californian and Hunter Valley wines to taste over the coming weeks. Alas, Chardonnay isn’t a pauper’s hobby, which is part of the reason I’m so fond of Riesling and Semillon. Nevertheless, I’m sure there are “value priced” Chardonnays that can be rewarding to drink, and the state of my wine budget demands I seek them out. This village-level wine is from a region of Burgundy generally considered of “lesser” quality and interest: the Côte Chalonnaise. At $A28, it sits at a highly competitive price point in the Australian market right now.Quite a rich hay colour, excellent clarity. I served this way too cold and it smelled of nothing for about half an hour. As it warmed, aromas of vanilla cream, lightly fragrant peaches and honey emerged delicately from the glass. I’ve been sitting with it all night and it’s never going to be a slap in the face sort of wine. In fact, I’m still having to work pretty hard to get a sense of its aroma, but what’s there is delicate and pretty. The palate is more generous. Entry is quite focused, with a tight, acid-driven flow over the tongue. Tight, savoury grapefruit-like fruit dominates the mid-palate, which sizzles with freshness but remains subtle overall. This isn’t an especially worked style, although there’s a roundness to the middle and after palate that suggests some winemaking tricks. Quite satisfying length. This is a pretty, well made wine that shows good balance and clean varietal character.  With the vogue for tighter, less “fat” Chardonnays in full swing, this wine fits right in. My key criticism is that it lacks significant intensity of flavour (and the satisfaction one derives from it). Still, with cheaper Chardonnays often a carnival of vulgarity, I’m not going to complain too much.Domaine NinotPrice: $A28Closure: CorkDate tasted: May 2008

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