Tonight the Chardonnay trail takes me somewhere a bit strange. I've been up late processing grapes, and now I've cleaned up after myself (sort of), it's time for a glass of wine. But this isn't what I was expecting. Initially, I didn't like it. But after a while, I did.
Rives-Blanques are certified by Terra Vitis (not organic; more a sort of reasoned, ecologically friendly approach to viticulture). Their website is definitely worth a visit. I'd be interested to try some more of their wines - they do a Chenin Blanc, which sounds appealing.
Chateau Rives Blanques Chardonnay Cuvee de L'Odyssee 2003 Limoux, France
A yellow gold colour, this initially seems a bit over-developed, with some oxidative nutty, appley notes, a bit of spice and some alcoholic warmth. There's a hint of Speyside about it. On the palate it is warm, nutty and quite complex with good concentration and some vanilla and spice undertones. It's not a wine that will appeal to everyone, but I find it quite delicious in a sort of semi-oxidised style. It has kept its balance and there's still some acid there, despite the ripeness and size. A wine to ponder. Very good+ 88/100 (£8.95 Great Western Wine)