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Serious whites

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Bourgogne 2013, Les Bigotes, Domaine de Chassorney/Frédéric Cossard ($58.15, private import, 6 bottles/case)
100% Chardonnay from organically farmed vines. The manually harvested whole clusters are sorted and placed directly in a pneumatic press, then slowly and gently pressed. The free-run and pressed juice is transferred to the same vat, then racked into large barrels. Low-temperature (c. 12°C) fermentation with indigenous yeasts lasts three to six months; in some years, malolactic fermentation finishes before alcoholic fermentation does. The wine remains on its lees, with no stirring or racking, until the contents of all barrels are racked into a single vat, allowed to rest one month and then gravity-bottled without filtering or fining. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Rézin.
Surprisingly fresh nose of ripe yellow fruit (“mango skins” per one taster), golden raisins and light brown sugar. Smooth, rich and round in the mouth but in no way heavy, with complex flavours, a mineral matrix and just enough acidity. Good depth and length complete the picture. In short, a textbook white Burgundy whose only downside is its price (Cossard blames it on the cost of grapes and the high overhead associated with his version of natural winemaking), though that’s true for many wines from the region these days. (Buy again? If feeling flush, yes.)

Anjou 2014, Domaine Thibaud Boudignon ($46.64, private import, 6 bottles/case)
Bordeaux native Thibaud Boudignon is head of operations at Château Soucherie. On the side, he makes wine under his own name from two hectares of vineyards in Anjou and Savennières. This 100% organically farmed Chenin Blanc comes from vines averaging a third of a century old and grown in shallow soils on grey schist, ryholite and sand. The grapes are manually harvested and gently pressed. The must is fermented with indigenous yeasts in French and Austrian oak barrels of various volumes. Does not undergo malolactic fermentation. Matured eight to 12 months in second- and third-fill 225-litre barrels and new 500-litre barrels. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: Rézin.
Ashy oak, quince, quartz, chalk dust. Remarkably pure fruit, sleek acidity and crystalline minerality fill the mouth. A saline tang colours the extremely long finish. Quintessential Chenin. A little less dazzling than the 2012, at least for now, but oh, so beautiful and full of potential. (Buy again? Done!)

MWG July 15th tasting: flight 7 of 8

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Written by carswell

August 30, 2016 at 14:23

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