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MWG March 21st tasting (2/6): Contrasting Chards

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Chardonnay 2011, Metallico Unoaked, Monterey, Morgan Winery ($27.10, 11896471)
A blend of Chardonnay from cool-climate vineyards in the Arroyo Seco, Santa Lucia Highlands and Monterey AVAs. Whole-cluster pressed. Cold-tank fermented. No malolactic fermentation. Matured five months in stainless steel tanks. Screwcapped (though says cork). 14.1% ABV.
White lemon, minerals, faint stone fruit. Citric, chalky and green apply in the mouth. Crisp acidity and a certain presence but not much follow-through. Plus somehow it simply doesn’t cohere. (Buy again? Meh, especially when you can get a great unoaky Chard for $9 less.)

Bourgogne 2010, Chardonnay Vieilles Vignes, Nicolas Potel ($21.15, 11890926)
A négociant wine made 100% Chardonnay from 50- to 65-year-old vines in 12 parcels in the villages of Meursault and Puligny Montrachet. Manually harvested. Pressed, cold-settled for 24 hours. The resulting juice is transferred to oak barrels (30% new, 40% second vintage, 20% third vintage) and stainless steel tanks (10%) for alcoholic and malolactic fermentation. Matured ten months on the lees. 12% ABV.
Nose of slightly overripe tropical fruit and maple sugar evolving into lemon and pine needles. The combination of the rich, almost fat texture, residual sugar and mild flavours prompted the descriptor “rice syrup” from one taster. Smooth acidity and decent length but ultimately flat, unrefreshing, verging on cloying. Blind, I mistook it for the Californian… (Buy again? Only for research purposes.)

A disappointing flight. As an admirer of Nicolas Potel, I had high hopes for the Burgundy, especially as it has garnered positive reviews from local bloggers and from critics as reliable as Jancis Robinson. Maybe ours was an off bottle. Or maybe it needed to breathe more (I would have been interested in tasting both wines the day after but didn’t manage to snag the tail ends).

Written by carswell

March 27, 2013 at 12:00

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