If old wines in general are an acquired taste, then surely old white wines in particular are especially so. Without suggesting one must like these wines, I do feel there’s value in at least understanding how a wine ages over time, whether it adjusts its balance and flavours and, ultimately, whether it tastes better at some points than others. This well-priced Chablis is a good example of a wine that has really come into its own over the last three years. When previously tasted, this came across as tasty but awkward and clumsy, fighting within itself for poise and balance. What a transformation. I believe it’s delivering maximum pleasure right now.
The nose is highly expressive and distinctly honeyed, floral and mineral. In other words, showing a range of aromas from primary to tertiary. What I like most, though, is that it presents as a single, complex note rather than a series of discrete ones, no matter how complementary. The sign of a wine in its prime.
The palate’s greatest feature is its multifaceted texture. The acid has folded back into the wine, allowing its fullness of mouthfeel to present unobstructed, yet it’s a still firm, shapely wine in the mouth. Flavours are again tightly integrated and complex, with more mineral notes, honey and citrus. Intensity isn’t outrageous, nor does it lack flavour; just enough, I’d say. Good extension through the back palate.
This is drinking far better now than three years ago and, although it’s not a blockbuster style, it’s an extremely enjoyable, sophisticated wine.