4 Wines & A Plate – Chardonnay

Kevin4 Wines and A Plate, WineLeave a Comment

The last white tasting of the year arrived. This year we did more whites than ever before, and this round was an adventure in Chardonnay. Conclusions: Chardonnay is far better with food than I expected. The oak vs. no-oak was not an issue – none of the wines were close to unpleasantly oaky. Guessing the new world vs old world blind seemed easier than normal. Lastly, it hit me that with whites, the big hitters tend to be funky and wacky and offputting to many. Posh reds don’t seem to do the same. Tasted blind, my preferences nearly lined up the price points – although my clean record of never guessing all the wines correctly blind, despite my insider knowledge, stands.

2004 Domaine William Fevre Chablis Bougros Cote Bouguerots Grand Cru, France, $85
I loved this wine immediately. Super obvious moldy cheese smell – like stinky, moldy goat cheese. Truffle, mint, garbage, and plastic. The palate was zingy with a clean acidity, clean profile overall, and really elegant. 96. Group score: 84

2004 Domaine Bernard Morey Saint-Aubin Les Charmois 1er Cru, France, $50
Meat, butter, old lady cologne, stinky, all bran pee, all wrapped in a punch-you-in-the-head intensity that turned some people off. Smooth, tart, clean, and complex, with the odd hit of a mouthful of grass clippings. 93. Group score: 83

2006 Cornin Macon-Chanes Serreudieres, France, $25
Yeasty, plain, candyish, fuzzy peachish. Fruity, a little boring, but still really decent. A tad boring with the food. 87
. Group score: 83

2008 Hardy’s Nottage Hill Chardonnay, Australia, $11
White grape fruit juice, smoky, furnace dust, cooked weiner. soft. Thick and winey on the palate, lots of booze, long finish of booze. Surprisingly good with food. 87
. Group score: 85
[ps, buy this wine if you want to try a cheap chard that’s solid with food – it showed well against some tough competition]

2006 Peninsula Ridge Estates Inox Chardonnay, Canada, $17
Wet basement, honey, alcohol, and flat on the nose. Watery, awkward, flat pop-esque, and apple juicy on the palate. 80. Group score: 80

The food. I did two courses, which is unusual. The first was a salad that was designed around the tasting notes of the wines – so it was bizarre, but so worked that it was a proud moment of pairing for me. It elevated all the wines. Standard greens + sorrel, mint, purslane, kale, rocket – with a charred baby leek vinaigrette that only had a tweak of lime juice for acidity. Man did it work out.

The second dish was Jacques Pepin’s poulet a la creme. Always a favorite, it seemed to lead everyone in varying directions on which wines worked or didn’t. The salad helped them all. Strange stuff.

Next month: Pinot Noir & Salmon

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