2011 white Burgundy has a lot to recommend it. There’s freshness, life and zest here, and typicity too. Olivier Lamy, at the helm at St Aubin’s consistent over-achiever Hubert Lamy, was happy with the vintage. Despite the early harvest, the whites retained their acidity because of the cool July. Olivier sees lots of freshness and life in the wines and these are great value bets as ever. His St Aubin Les Frionnes has a roundness and delicacy common to Chassagne-Montrachet and the Clos de la Chantenière is a dead ringer for serious Puligny in the appellation next door.
Posts Tagged ‘Chardonnay’
Frankly who cares? I’m being glib but this country makes such tasty and delicious wine from this variety in so many guises from the crowd pleasing to the simply stunning, I could easily toss aside its Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda and Tempranillo or whatever, even its interesting Syrah and Sangiovese, so vivacious is Argentina’s Malbec. There is nothing like it anywhere in the world. It makes you wonder what on earth the French have been doing in Cahors all these years. Are they sure it’s Malbec they’ve got planted down there? Can Argentina’s South American rendition be related in any way to its rustic and tough Francophone brother?
Despite its big reputation, the Napa Valley’s a relatively small wine region, just an eighth of the size of Bordeaux. Given the acquisition of some pretty prominent names by big business over the past few years, it’s heartening to discover that 95% of the Napa’s wineries still remain family owned. These days it’s maybe not quite the beatnik, boho crowd of the 1960s – you’ll have needed a fairly healthy bank [credit] account to have opened shop in the Napa Valley in the past decade or so – but many of Napa’s founding families are still around too.
Napa’s close to my heart, where my wine bug began after visiting in the late 1980s, so it was good to see the Napa Valley Vintners Association back at the London Wine Fair last week. Heitz’s Trailside Cabernet ’05 immediately reminded me what’s exciting about the valley and of the fact that the old ones are often still the best. In this respect too there were good benchmark Napa Cabs from Grgich Hills, Chateau Montelena [actually tasted courtesy of Bancroft Wines], Silverado Vineyards, Cain and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.