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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- 2016 Arlemont (BIO)Chardonnay Pays d'Oc0.75l WhiteBio€6.95 €5.74An attractive, organic Chardonnay for everyday drinking, conveniently served in a screw-cap bottle for easy entertaining. It has a light platinum colour, a pretty, fresh, spicy nose with aromas of melon, pear and apple. Easy to drink and fruity with good purity and persistence, the wine finishes with a slightly sweet vanilla note. Serve with salads, fish and as an aperitif.
- 2017 ArlemontChardonnay Pays d'Oc0.75l WhiteBio€7.20 €5.95An attractive, organic Chardonnay for everyday drinking, conveniently served in a screw-cap bottle for easy entertaining. It has a light platinum colour, a pretty, fresh, spicy nose with aromas of melon, pear and apple. Easy to drink and fruity with good purity and persistence, the wine finishes with a slightly sweet vanilla note. Serve with salads, fish and as an aperitif.
- 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.
- Les Charmes Mâcon Lugny0.75l WhiteNew€10.45 €8.64This attractive and well-made wine has a pale golden yellow colour, a light perfume, with fresh, delicate fruit of pear, kiwi and melon. Vinified in temperature controlled stainless tanks without aging in oak, this wine has a fine vein of minerality which leads to a charming, refreshing finish.
- Chablis Village0.75l White€12.75 €10.54Our friends Jean-Marie and Bernard Raveneau, producers of the finest Chablis in the world, introduced us to Domaine de la Genillotte when we were searching for a well-priced village level Chablis. We have been listing this very pretty wine for many years now and the quality remains consistent year after year. The 2015 has a pale lemon-gold colour; a richly scented and vibrant nose with notes of orchard fruits and white flowers; the palate is round, fruity with a lovely fresh persistence.
- 2015 Domaine des ValangesCuvée Hors Classe Saint-Véran0.75l White€15.10 €12.48The Paquet family created the Domaine des Valanges in the 1980s and over the years have been able to expand their vineyard holdings over several other appellations. Their children, Matthieu and Camille have now formed a separate domain with Camille as the winemaker and managed to take over this vineyard in a fermage agreement in 2015. What a year to begin and what a lovely wine! This is a sunny, happy wine reflecting the fine summer weather of this vintage. The nose is expressive and aromatic with notes of acacia flowers, blossom and sweet fruit. On the palate the wine is generous, round and fruity with notes of spice, a touch of anise and then lovely, honeyed concentration. This is a very pretty Chardonnay with lots of personality where freshness and richness meet and blend superbly together. There is a bright future ahead for this domain.
- 2016 Domaine des ValangesLes Cras Saint-Véran0.75l White€15.50 €12.81Those of you who have already tasted the super St. Vérans from Domaine des Valanges, will enjoy tasting this wine from a small 1 1/2 hectare single vineyard site. The vines face south, south-east and are grown on stony, limestone soils. Vinified for 60% in tanks and 40% in oak barrels and allowed to age for nine months on the lees, only 9,000 bottles of this wine are produced each year. There is lots of perfume and fruit on the nose making the wine immediately inviting with rich Chardonnay notes balanced perfectly with a mineral freshness – clearly the influence of the limestone soil. Quite opulent on the palate, this is a superb Chardonnay combining lovely fruit and finesse. A superior bottling to be served with poached fish, white meats or refined first courses.
- Terra Mea Pouilly-Fuissé0.75l White€16.15 €13.35Produced from Chardonnay grapes grown in limestone with pockets of clay, this expressive wine has lovely freshness and minerality. The aromas of exotic fruits – pineapple and mango mix well with white flower blossom and a hint of almonds. The palate on this very successful 2015 is vibrant, generous and beautifully fresh with a well-rounded, soft texture in the mouth. An ideal match for white meats, seafood and shellfish.