A rare Emporda Chardonnay, with only 500 bottles made. Banana notes, with some vanilla and custard cream and good acidity, with an undertone of wild mushroom. Well made, but why produce Chardonnay here?
An organic blend of Garnatxa Blanca, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay from one of the most dynamic producers in the region, this is a modern, oaky white showing flavours of pear and apple with some cinnamon spice and tangy acidity.
Just in case you think I’ve got the maths wrong, this wine is already on a deal until October 1st at £16.99, so the combined discount brings it to £12.74. It’s a youthful, Chardonnay-dominated bubbly with 30% Pinot Noir adding fruit to the former variety’s acidity and structure. It could do with a little more bottle age (what do you expect for such a well-priced wine?) so don’t be afraid to tuck it away for a year or two. But right now, it’s very drinkable: zesty and fresh, with notes of citrus, wet stone and brioche.
White Burgundies from the 2009 vintage don’t lack opulence, but the best ones have freshness and bite, too. This is certainly on the ripe and honeyed side, but it has enough freshness for balance, with notes of vanilla and nutmeg spice, pear and citrus fruit and an appealingly honeyed texture.
Supple for a 2011, but showing good underlying acidity, this southern Burgundian Chardonnay is all about fruit and focus, not oak. It’s taut and fresh with a whiff of orange zest, and flavours of fennel, white peach and pear.
2007 was a vintage that was overlooked in Burgundy, both for reds and whites, which is a shame as they are drinking really well now. This has a delicious combination of honeyed development with bracing acidity to pull the wine back into line. Taut and chalky, with impressive palate length.
If you’re on the hunt for comparative bargains in th Côte de Beaune, Marc Colin in Saint Aubin should be at the top of your list. This is everything I love about 2012 white Burgundies: focused, yet generous, with citrus rind acidity, a touch of oatmeal, subtle oak and a core of stony, chalky fruit. Superb white Burgundy at a very affordable price.
When he was at Cloudy Bay (and that was for over 20 years) Kevin Judd was better known for his Sauvignon Blancs thatn his Chardonnays, but the latter were sometimes even more exciting. This superb effort from the top notch 2010 vintages deserves a place among the country’s best interpretations of the grape. It’s smoky and toasty, with flavours of citrus and hazelnuts and a long, minerally finish that wouldn’t look out of place in Puligny-Montrachet.
The whites were much more impressive than the red from this Yarra Valley estate in 2011. This cool climate Aussie Chardonnay is deliberately made in a fairly wild, funky style and it works: savoury and complex, with subtle oak and notes of oatmeal, honey and lemon zest. Lovely.
2011 was a slightly tricky vintage in Chablis, so hats off to the Co-op for finding a wine that delivers under £10. It’s a fairly soft, forward style, but there’s enough steeliness to stop it cloying. It’s fresh and appealing with no oak and supple pear and spice on the palate.