i4C cool climate Chardonnay conference, some highlights

If you are going to have a conference on a single white grape variety, from a drinking point of view, Chardonnay is probably the best choice. Over the weekend at the i4C we tasted and drank a lot of Chardonnay. These are some of the highlights.

Tara Atacama White Wine 1 2014 Atacama Valley, Chile
Wild yeast, [...]

i4C school of cool part 2, winemaking and Chardonnay

Earlier I reported on session 1 of School of Cool, part of the 2017 international cool climate Chardonnay celebration here in Niagara, Canada. Session 2 delved into winemaking decisions with Chardonnay. Winemakers on the panel discussed their winemaking choices and how these were reached, and what the effect on the wine is.

These included Adam Mariani [...]

i4C School of Cool, part 1: the influence of soil on the flavour of Chardonnay

The opening event of the Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4C), School of Cool, kicked off with a session on soil.

Dr Paul Anamosa began the session talking about the impact of soil on wine flavour. What does the soil provide to the vines? What does vineyard management have to do with this?

Paul talked about what the [...]

Seresin Chardonnay Reserve 2013

Had this beauty from biodynamic Marlborough winery Seresin the other evening. It’s a really compelling Chardonnay. New Zealand’s top Chardonnays are underrated, and they can be superb.

Seresin Chardonnay Reserve 2013 Marlborough, New Zealand
13.5% alcohol. 20% new oak. This is beautiful. Lovely matchstick, mineral nose with some taut citrus and apple fruit. The palate shows complex [...]

Domaine Ganevat Les Grands Teppes Vieilles Vignes 2013

More Jura joy. There’s so much good stuff coming from this region, and it’s usually from producers taking a more natural approach. This was drunk last night looking out over the sea at Golden Bay, at the top of South Island, New Zealand. It was mesmerising.

Domaine Ganevat Les Grands Teppes Vieilles Vignes Chardonnay 2013 Côtes [...]

Roulot: how Jean-Marc makes some of the most compelling white Burgundies of all

I had the pleasure of meeting Jean-Marc Roulot yesterday. Roulot has established himself as one of the superstars of white Burgundy – the new Coche, if you will. The wines are beautiful, and now quite hard to get hold of as their fame has spread. I first became aware of them from Raj Parr, who [...]

Alexandre Jouveaux Combarnier (2010) NV Vin de France

This is quite a wine. It’s seven years old, made in a very natural way, and it’s still incredibly reductive, with a strong matchstick/mineral character. There are some subtle oxidative notes, too, but overall the wine is very fresh. This is a wine that clearly demonstrates that reduction is not simply the opposite of oxidation, [...]

Little Farm Pied de Cuve Chardonnay 2015 Similkameen Valley, BC, Canada

I’ve been impressed by the wines from Rhys Pender and Alison Dredger’s Little Farm winery in the Similkameen Valley. This is a valley next door to the Okanagan in Canada’s BC,  and their 4 acre organic vineyard is in in Cawston. I reckon this is their best yet. It’s the first release of this naturally [...]

A couple of lovely Chardonnays: Kutch and Bachelet-Monnot

Had a couple of lovely Chardonnays side by side: one from Burgundy, the other from the cool Sonoma Coast.

Bachelet-Monnot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Referts 2011 Burgundy, France
Lemony and taut, this has a lovely bright mineral quality to the crystalline citrus fruit. It’s beautifully expressive with crisp lemon fruit with well integrated acidity. Very pure and [...]

Some lovely high-end wines from Catena, Argentina

By a stroke of coincidence, while I was in Victoria (Vancouver Island, not Australia)  today I got to try through this set of wines from Argentina star winery Catena, presented by Catena’s Andrea Nuñez and Daniel Stiefvater of Trialto (the company that brings them into this part of Canada). I was impressed, especially by the [...]