Chardonnay is the chameleon grape; it grows in almost every wine producing country in the world and its character changes according to the local soil, climate and wine culture. It is the perfect all rounder varying from rather neutral, mass produced wines to the pinnacle of greatness in the Grands Crus of Bourgogne. Its fruity character is a natural canvas for the winemaker: ferment it at cool temperatures in stainless steel or cement and the wine is light, fruity, fresh with good acidity and minerality. Ferment the wine in oak barrels and stir the lees and the grape releases a rich, buttery character with tropical fruits and great depth. It loves the interaction with yeasts as is most evident in Champagne where it is the most important grape in the famous champagnes of the region and in sparkling wines throughout the world.
The Chardonnay grape has inspired many clones such as the Dijon, Davis or Mendoza clones that are used frequently in the new world and often have exotic fruit flavours of pineapple, mango and passion fruit. Cool climate chardonnay is known for its orchard fruit character – green apple, pear and quince that can develop honeyed and nutty aromas if aged in oak. Chardonnays vary in sweetness; most white Burgundies are dry while the world’s best selling chardonnay, Kendall Jackson from California, has always had several degrees of sugar in the wine.
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- 2018 Señorio de ArnedoBlanco Rioja D.O.C.0.75l WhiteNew€7.50 €6.20We at Thienpont Wine have found a super value everyday wine in easy to use, but elegant screwcap bottles. Perfect to serve at various festivities. Working with Bodegas Manzanos we have selected a white, rosé and red wine from local grapes grown in Rioja. With fresh fruit flavours, good acidity and an easy drinking style, we are pleased to present our Señorio de Arnedo selection.
- Brut Saumur0.75l White€10.06 €8.31This Sparkling wine, which is made in the traditional method, comes from Saumur, in the Loire Valley. It is fresh with a lovely light body showing delicate floral and white-fruited notes. Offering excellent value for the quality, serve well-chilled as an aperitif.
- 2017 Famille PaquetLe Mont Mâcon-Solutré-Pouilly0.75l White€12.85 €10.62This is a very small parcel of one third of a hectare that the Paquet family managed to take over in 2015. They have made this wine their own with its very bright, sunny character and fruity flavours of ripe Chardonnay encompassing fresh pears, melon, summer blossom and a spiciness on the finish. The wine is aged on its lees for just over a year which gives the wine a pretty, honeyed, round flavour. Well focused where freshness and richness meet and blend well together.
- Chablis Village0.75l White€13.20 €10.91This is a super Chablis, inspite of the hail which ravaged the region. Very good aromas of pear, zest, citrus and chalky limestone. On the palate the wine seems sweet and fruity and then becomes more serious with more structure, citrus flavours and good body. Very bright and vivacious, this is an attractive wine with very good balance and persistence.
- 2018 Famille PaquetSaint-Véran0.75l WhiteNew€13.39 €11.07This was the first wine we bought from the Paquets at their Domaine des Valanges and it remains a favourite. Attractive and fruity with notes of pears, apples, melon, orchard flowers and a lovely mineral spiciness on the palate. Rich and quite full on the palate, this is a lovely Chardonnay with pure character and verve. Lovely wine at a very good price.
- 2016 Domaine des ValangesEn crèches, Hors Classe Saint-Véran0.75l White€15.50 €12.81This domain is going from strength to strength and the family is constantly looking for and finding great parcels of vineyards around the small winegrowing village of Davayé nestled at the foot of the Solutré Rock. New cellars, new vineyards and ambitious winemaking have resulted in some super wines. The “En Crèches” parcel faces south east, is sheltered from the north wind, has clay and fossilized limestone soils and lies at an altitude of 250 metres: a superb microclimate. The Chardonnay vines are over 60 years old and produce a fabulous wine with great minerality and tension. There is depth on the palate with honey, oatmeal, good oak and lots of vivacity. Unfortunately hailstorms in April destroyed much of the 2016 crop so there is less of this wine than usual so it is well worth reserving a few bottles for drinking for the next few years.
- Brut Champagne0.375l White€16.60 €13.72Created in 1955, this group of Epernay producers make wines from 75 hectares of vineyards. Cuvée de Réserve is a blend of three vintages and predominately made from black varieties. Refined and elegant with a lovely taste of toasty brioche, almonds and ripe fruits. A little known Champagne at a very reasonable price, which often ranks above some of its more famous counterparts in blind tastings.