There’s a pork roast in the oven, to be accompanied by a variety of roasted vegetables (including parsnip, which I adore) and this wine. A few sips before the food is ready, though.
The nose is misleading me at first, because it seems full of oatmeal, cream, hints of caramel and other signs of manipulation, suggesting a wine dominated by winemaking artifact. Give it a a few swirls, then, to bring clean, grapefruity aromas to the fore. There’s actually a lot going on here, including a rather sharp note that I’m having trouble describing but for which I shall use the word “herbal” (in a thyme-like manner), via sea water. It’s darned expressive, helped by what is an altogether piercing aroma profile.
The palate is similarly complex, and what I like most is how its overt caramel and oat flavours don’t in any way equal flab or a lack of shape. In fact, this is a taut, tightly controlled wine from start to finish. A really elegant entry into the mouth, with flavour that builds smoothly to a middle palate of decent intensity. The fruit flavour is firmly in the grapefruit spectrum, with a bit of white nectarine poking its head in. I like the slippery mouthfeel here, which is an interesting foil to the firm acid structure. As the wine relaxes into its after palate, the more worked flavour profile begins to dominate, with really delicious sharp caramel and mealy elements, along with a harder thread that seems part oak, part acid-derived to me (its character is almost metallic or briney with a sappy quality too). Quite a long, soft finish.
This is a heap of wine for the money. For mine, I’d prefer a slightly less aggressive, hard profile, but perhaps time will take care of that. Really nice Chardonnay.