Domaine Alain Chavy Saint-Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly 2007

I’m a fan of this label, having enjoyed recent vintages (2005, 2006) very much. Though Chavy allows a clear view into vintage conditions, there’s a delicate power that unites these wines; detail above impact, complexity above density. This 2007 is clearly the most forward of the last three vintages, a real surprise considering growing conditions, which generally led to whites rather higher in acidity than usual.

The nose retains En Remilly’s fundamentally minerally, high toned profile, with sparks of flint, wet wool and florals. Fruit, however, is broader than usual, showing hints of yellow peach where before there was only white. There’s less citrus than usual, and less talc, stonefruit flesh taking its place. To be clear, this remains a restrained, tight aroma profile, but certainly looser than in previous years.

The palate is far less tightly structured than the 2006 in particular, and even in its first year after retail release the peach is flowing freely. What’s wonderful about this wine, though, is the clash of site and vintage conditions, plus perhaps a touch more oxidative handling in the winery. This is what happens when a wine of fundamentally mineral character goes wild; it’s full of savoury fruit and sweet prickliness, of blunt faces and angular asides. Citrus, rather than invoking delicate grapefruit or lemon, tilts towards juicy orange. Do I prefer it in its more restrained, delicate guise? Perhaps, but this is fascinating too, in the same way a favourite artist’s least achieved work is still valuable for being an expression of something fundamentally worthy. And this is far from a bad wine; indeed, it’s constantly improving in the glass, gaining complexity and almost justifying its portly middle.

For enthusiasts (and the fools who love them).

Domaine Alain Chavy
Price: $A50
Closure: Cork
Source: Retail

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