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It’s better with Butteaux

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Chablis 2011, Premier cru Butteaux, Domaine Pattes Loup ($39.25, 12093494)
100% organically farmed Chardonnay from the Butteaux lieu-dit in the southern part of the Montmains premier cru with argillocalcareous (clay and limestone) soil over Kimmerridgian marl (fossilized seashells). The grapes are manually harvested and gently pressed with their stems. The juice is clarified by settling for 18 hours, then transferred to used 228-litre, medium-toast barrels for alcoholic fermentation (with indigenous yeasts), malolactic fermentation and maturation. During its 15 months in barrel, the wine is kept topped up and racked once but otherwise left undisturbed. Bottled unfiltered and unfined. Annual production is about 3,500 bottles. 12.5% ABV.
The bottle my glass came from had been open for about 18 hours and the wine was reportedly better for it. Textbook nose: lemon, oats, chalk, flint, subtle oak and a faint lactic note. Take a sip and liquid minerals fill the mouth. Then the lemon kicks in, followed by a butter note and a plush finish. The purity, depth and balance are remarkable. It’s a little richer than the estate’s fine Beauregard but also more structured and tense, the ripe fruit, minerals and baby fat wrapped around a core of grippy acidity. A class act from start to finish. Approachable now but full of the kind of potential that makes you anxious to taste it in five years. (Buy again? Yes. Chardonnays of this quality at this price don’t come around often.)

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Written by carswell

September 21, 2013 at 18:11

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