I tasted the 2006 edition of this wine, and on balance feel the 2007 vintage is more achieved. It retains the essentially funky character of the fruit while rounding out the style to a more generous level. Still an off-centre aroma profile, with prickles of sulfur introducing fleshy yellow peach, roasted cashews and Thai basil. It has really blossomed after a couple of hours in the glass, so don’t serve this too cold, and be prepared to give it time. It ends up in a gentle place; this is never going to knock your socks off with power, but it glows with nuance and character.
Some oxidative character not evident on the nose asserts itself in the mouth, quite pleasantly so. There’s an essential discordance to the flavour profile that I am enjoying, though I suspect it may turn some drinkers off. If, however, you can get past the idea that wines ought to be neat and tidy aesthetic experiences, you may value the clash of peach, grapefruit, bitter herbs and creamy nuts that tumble over each other as this wine rushes past the middle palate. The after palate and finish are more focused, concentrating on yellow grapefruit flavours and very fine, firm acid. Intensity does not rise above a moderate level, and there’s a nice irony, I think, to the quiet way in which this wine seeks to argue with itself.
A really interesting, smart wine for lovers of the offbeat.
I’ve tasted one previous vintage of this label, the 2005, and at the time came away with mixed feelings. On the one hand, a cheap way to taste some Burgundy goodness, on the other a rather underwhelming experience in absolute terms. So how’s this more recent vintage, then?
Once some funky sulphur blows off, the nose strongly suggests a degree of oxidation; there’s as much honey as there is vanilla ice cream and ripe papaya fruit. The 2005 had a similar mix of flavours, but (from memory at least) this is a more exuberant wine, tilting more definitely towards a drink-now balance of oxidative versus fresh flavours. It’s quite attractive, really, if somewhat simple, and much more expressive than I remember the 2005 to have been. Presuming these flavours are a result of oxidative handling, it’s a bold style to chase.
The palate is generous in scale, with rather lazy honey flavours accompanied by browned apple and melon fruit. The oxidative flavours are a little distracting at this point, though lively acid keeps things more or less in check. Mouthfeel moves through a few stages, from lightly textured on entry through voluptuous on the middle palate and sharp-ish through the finish. It’s all quite fun and drinkable, yet I’m not feeling entirely satisfied with the sophistication (or lack thereof) of the flavour profile, especially at this price point, and compared to local wines.
Closure: Synthetic cork
Montagny, a village on the Côte Chalonnaise of Burgundy, is a white-only appellation. Before I get to a description of this wine, it’s interesting to contemplate the role that winemaking decisions play in the character and appeal of a wine. I love the notion of terroir and cling to it as much for its philosophic appeal as anything else. It’s obvious, though, that winemaking can radically change a wine’s presentation and, ultimately, its integrity.
Tight, minerally and somewhat sulfurous aroma. Quite funky, actually, within the confines of its tightly coiled dimensions. With time, more fruit-driven aromas emerge, but are mere whisps at best. Good line from nose to palate, with the same minerally tightness as the nose, but more weight and fruit flavour than anticipated. Reasonable intensity that establishes its level early in the line and only starts to taper off in the after palate. Good freshness thanks to bright acidity, but also a pleasingly smooth mouthfeel. I can’t detect many winemaking tricks or oak here, so I presume these elements have been conservatively applied. A nice surge on the finish that brings things to a happy ending.
Not bad at all, this one, especially if you like your Chardonnay on the funkier, leaner side. There’s a question mark for me over whether such minimal treatment brings out the full character of the fruit, which is (to my taste) of considerable interest. Still, it’s good to have the opportunity to taste what appear to be raw materials in the glass.
Interestingly, it tasted even tighter the next morning, more minerally and less stinky. I might let my remaining bottles rest for a while.
Date tasted: November 2008
We’re on a Chardonnay-fest here at Full Pour, with a mix of French, Californian and Hunter Valley wines to taste over the coming weeks. Alas, Chardonnay isn’t a pauper’s hobby, which is part of the reason I’m so fond of Riesling and Semillon. Nevertheless, I’m sure there are “value priced” Chardonnays that can be rewarding to drink, and the state of my wine budget demands I seek them out. This village-level wine is from a region of Burgundy generally considered of “lesser” quality and interest: the Côte Chalonnaise. At $A28, it sits at a highly competitive price point in the Australian market right now.Quite a rich hay colour, excellent clarity. I served this way too cold and it smelled of nothing for about half an hour. As it warmed, aromas of vanilla cream, lightly fragrant peaches and honey emerged delicately from the glass. I’ve been sitting with it all night and it’s never going to be a slap in the face sort of wine. In fact, I’m still having to work pretty hard to get a sense of its aroma, but what’s there is delicate and pretty. The palate is more generous. Entry is quite focused, with a tight, acid-driven flow over the tongue. Tight, savoury grapefruit-like fruit dominates the mid-palate, which sizzles with freshness but remains subtle overall. This isn’t an especially worked style, although there’s a roundness to the middle and after palate that suggests some winemaking tricks. Quite satisfying length. This is a pretty, well made wine that shows good balance and clean varietal character. With the vogue for tighter, less “fat” Chardonnays in full swing, this wine fits right in. My key criticism is that it lacks significant intensity of flavour (and the satisfaction one derives from it). Still, with cheaper Chardonnays often a carnival of vulgarity, I’m not going to complain too much.Domaine NinotPrice: $A28Closure: CorkDate tasted: May 2008