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Oak and ashes

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Touraine 2013, Cuvée Cendrillon, Domaine de la Garrelière ($23.45, 10211397)
A blend of Sauvignon Blanc (80%) and Chardonnay (20%) from biodynamically farmed vines averaging 25 years old. The grape varieties are vinified separately. After gentle pressing, the must is allowed to clarify by settling. Fermentation – full alcoholic with indigenous yeasts and partial malolactic – takes place in stainless steel tanks and lasts two months. A third of the wine by volume is aged in old 500-litre oak barrels. Blending is done one month before bottling. Fined with bentonite and filtered through a 0.65 membrane. The cuvée’s name, French for Cinderella, refers to the winegrower’s practice of spraying the vines with a preparation of crystallized ashes made from burned vine clippings. Reducing sugar: 2.3 g/l. 14% ABV. Quebec agent: Le Marchand de Vin.
Ashy minerals, peach, honeysuckle, “fennel” and faint, dusty potpourri. Fresh and briny on the palate with subtle citrus flavours. The combo of Chardonnay and relatively mild acidity give the wine a round and satiny texture. A touch of bitterness colours the minerally finish. “Clean and precise,” as another taster pointed out. (Buy again? Yes.)

Bourgogne 2013, Chardonnay, Caves Ropiteau Frères ($22.40, 11293953)
100% Chardonnay from vineyards across Burgundy (purchased grapes?). Fermented in stainless steel (with industrial yeasts?). Matured in barrels for six months. (Filtered? Fined?) Reducing sugar: 2.3 g/l. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Le Marchand de Vin.
Apple and pear, hints of oats and white flowers and an unmissable shot of oak. Medium-bodied. The fruit is rich but not tropical and there’s enough acidity to keep it from being flabby. A hint of sweetness marks the smooth attack but the wine finishes dry. Faint minerals and not-so-faint caramel are noticeable from the mid-palate on. Fair length. To my oak-sensitive palate, a bit cloying. Give it a year in the cellar to digest the wood? (Buy again? If you aren’t allergic to oak, sure.)

MWG February 26th tasting: flight 3 of 7

Written by carswell

March 19, 2016 at 09:05

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