The temptation here is to begin a long, intricate, stupefying rant about Chardonnay styles and how, arguably, some Chardonnays are more equal than others. In the interests of retaining at least some of my readership, though, I will simply comment that this wine gives ample ammunition to those Chardonnay enthusiasts who feel a worked, White Burgundy style may just be le dernier mot.
The nose is a little friend made of fruit, wrapped in a prickly, woolen jumper. Firm white peach and peach skin, mostly, with the faintest hint of rich, fine pineapple syrup. It’s all very expressive and striking, even before you really give it the time it deserves. Especially distinctive is a thread of light, powdery charcoal. There’s plenty going on, but it’s also poised, such that one has the impression of a calm, ripple-free surface under which currents flow and mix with slippery ease.
There’s a mix of plump stonefruit, caramel and rich pastry on the palate whose closest relation seems to be a particularly fine tarte tatin. Lest this suggest a cloying richness that isn’t there, I should add that a run of ultra-fine acid, gathering steam through the middle and after palates, ensures this is altogether fresher and livelier than a baked dessert. There are many other flavours — herbs, citrus peel, aniseed, flink, oak, orange juice — such that there’s plenty to see, taste and touch. Excellent continuity of line and briskness over the tongue. This will age a treat, I reckon, hopefully becoming a bit more relaxed and comfortable with its fundamentally warm, soft flavour profile.
Utterly delicious Chardonnay.