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
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
A village-level wine from Rully in the Côte Chalonnaise. This is another “value” Burgundy from a lesser appellation and, at $A25 a bottle, this wine sits within an increasingly crowded price bracket of local Pinot Noirs. A pretty, bright ruby colour, sparkling and clear. Initially, the nose smelled of spicy, toasty oak and not much else. With time, it settled into a more balanced expression of lifted red fruits, oak and some savouriness. Not terribly complex, and slightly New Worldy to my taste. The palate is marked by a notable astringence that comes across as a sourness of flavour profile. Entry is quite lively, with bright flavours and fresh acidity. Mid-palate is medium bodied and brings the wine’s sourness into full focus, although there are subtle tannins and enough intensity of fruit flavour to prevent the wine from being totally one-dimensional. There’s a slightly animal note in there, but overall no great complexity. A nice lift of flavour through the after palate lightens the flavour profile to a sappier, freshly fruited note, before a decent finish sees the wine off in some style.This isn’t a world-beater by any means, and there are probably (conventionally) better local Pinots for the price. But it’s well made and just different enough to keep things interesting. Again, how to put a price on difference?Domaine NinotPrice: $A25Closure: CorkDate tasted: February 2008