It’s new year’s eve and I’m cracking open the good stuff.
A striking mix of lean minerality, powerful citrus fruit and well-controlled winemaker input. The nose is reticent for now, allowing mere wisps of prickly slate, freshly cut pear, grapefruit rind and green nuts to escape its grasp. If drinking now, best not to serve it too cold; allow it to warm and release as much aroma as it is willing. I sense a slow strip tease, one that may unfold over several years and whose narrative will only resolve at some uncertain point in the future, if ever.
The palate confirms what the nose only hints at: this is a wine of confident power and effortless complexity. What’s immediately obvious is the sustained thrust of the fruit; it really explodes on entry and carries right through the finish. This is, however, a wine made in a restrained mould, so one doesn’t get slutty gobs of peachy fruit. Instead, there’s a crisp steel mineral line that underlines the whole, challenged and softened by citrus and white peach fruit that seems to float above the more angular flavour components, not exactly integrated but rather acting as counterpoint. This wine isn’t about harmony, but nor is it about noisy contrasts. It sits somewhere in between, each side of its character pulling and pushing the other, creating tensions right along the line and never letting go their grip of the drinker. In objective quality terms this wine has the stuff: intensity, structure, line. But it’s the aesthetics on show that fascinate me and that elevate this wine above others of a similar level of technical accomplishment.
A beautiful, challenging wine.
Domaine Alain Chavy