Domaine Emilian Gillet Viré-Clessé Quintaine 2002

A slightly older white Burgundy this time, which will hopefully come as a relief after a slew of younger siblings. As an aside, at Full Pour we taste wines in a “real world” context as much as possible, which often means a single bottle at a time, often sipped slowly all evening. This serves to highlight the role of variety in enjoyment. A self-confessed addict of difference, I find working my way through a series of similar wines both highly revealing and slightly boring at the same time. Still, there are worse things I could do…

Pretty golden hay colour, good clarity. A really seductive nose, with rich almond, grapefruit, butter, and some clear botrytis influence. It’s a wine that reaches out of the glass and sucks you in without resorting to excess vulgarity — sort of like the difference between someone with a magnetic personality versus someone who is just loud. There are also hints of roast nut and spice that add complexity to the aroma profile. The palate delivers solidly on the nose. Entry is slippery-slidey, without any acidic harshness and yet showing freshness and vitality. Rich, round fruit builds on the tongue towards the middle palate, just as some acid structure starts to tingle on the edges of the tongue. Despite the freshness, this is a relaxed, generous wine that you don’t have to work especially hard to enjoy. A lot of this is to do with the ultra silky mouthfeel that balances slipperiness with acidity most satisfyingly. More citrus fruit and hints of sweet honey coat the tongue. The savoury nut/oak observed on the nose props up the fruit flavour in balanced fashion. If it’s not quite as complex as the nose suggests, this is easily compensated by the smooth, easy elegance of this wine. A nutty lift through the after palate keeps on rising through a very satisfying, flavoursome finish. Yum!

I’m tempted to say this wine lacks a certain sophistication, but that’s not quite right. It’s breezy yet substantial, and echoes a sense of generous provincial hospitality. Its mix of fresh and ultra-ripe notes is, I find, beguiling. Delicious, bloody good value, and quite different from all the other white Burgundies recently tasted.

Domaine Emilian Gillet
Price: $A34
Closure: Cork
Date tasted
: June 2008

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