Domaine Alain Chavy Saint-Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly 2005

Such is the allure of the great vineyards of Burgundy that those sites with any connection, however tenuous, to vines of renown are almost relentlessly flogged as such. Who am I to buck the trend? En Remilly, the source of this wine, is usually mentioned in the same breath as Le Montrachet, as it is on the same slope above its more famous neighbour. Does proximity to greatness mean anything in this hottest of terroir hotbeds?

The nose certainly promises good things. It’s soft, delicate, and rounded, with floral notes dominating a background of subtle cashew oak, lovely flint and even some banana. Smelling this wine is like sniffing a well-planned garden just coming into bloom. It has the same freshness and intermingled complexity of aroma.

The palate takes these elements and amplifies them, while retaining a similar balance. The entry displays fresh, fine acidity that lingers on the tip of the tongue, then leads the way to the mid-palate ahead of delicate yet persistent fruit flavour. There’s still tight focus as we reach the wine’s mid-point, but the flavour profile by now shows its full spectrum of elements. Lightfooted citrus fruit and flinty minerality are the key ingredients, and play off each other beautifully. There’s also some creaminess and lightly nutty oak in the background. The fruit is clingy but not cloying, thanks to the freshness of the acidity, and shows great definition. Structure relaxes a little out as it moves through the after palate, and spreads the same clingy fruit throughout the mouth ahead of an impressively long finish.

The wine continued to improve and gain weight all evening, and I think reached its peak at a relatively warm temperature (just lightly chilled), so don’t be afraid to serve it even warmer than you might other Chardonnays. It’s not a blockbuster by any means, as it showcases delicacy and balance above power. But it’s pure and balanced and deliciously intense. A lovely style and one of my favourites in the recent pack of white Burgundies tasted at Full Pour. Good value.

Domaine Alain Chavy
Price: $A44
Closure: Cork
Date tasted: June 2008

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