A subtle, prickly nose that’s more about minerality than anything else. Not that it’s one dimensional; indeed, there are subtle, elegant fruit and almond notes that fill out the wine’s aroma profile. As with the 2005, this is evolving rapidly in the glass, crisp white stone fruit moving up to push the entire nose forward a notch. The minerality gains a sort of smokey dimension with some energetic swirling. It’s not excessively complex, but this wine has the sort of clean, characteristic aroma that is a pleasure to smell — this is a self-confident wine.
Entry is crisp and acidic, lightfootedly ushering delicate fruit flavour to the middle palate. Wines that show consistent line from nose to palate are especially satisfying to me, and I’m happy to report this one replays the same almond and light stone fruit flavours observed in its aroma, albeit with an additional sense of weight. Having written that, it’s quite a light bodied wine, noticeably acid driven. It seems minimally worked, with little creaminess and no discernible butterscotch character. Instead, one enjoys a straightforward purity, an unmediated sense of terroir, although perhaps one held back at present by its structure. I’m yearning for a few ounces more weight and intensity.
Perhaps I just need to be patient. Hints of richer yellow peach sneak out now and then, promising a future filled with greater generosity.
As an aside, I had a couple of glasses of 2004 Brands Chardonnay the other day, and was reminded simultaneously of why full-throttle Chardonnays have historically been extremely popular and why they became, ultimately, reviled. I felt like I was eating dessert, an overly rich one at that, which was delicious in the same way that sweet, battered, deep fried things are delicious. We couldn’t finish the bottle between us. The funny thing is, I have a periodic craving for this kind of Chardonnay. I guess they have their place.
Domaine Alain Chavy
Date tasted: December 2008