The working man’s white Burgundy. What a pleasure, and a refreshing view of the world’s finest terroir through the lens of the OTHER Burgundy varietal (and close Chardonnay cousin) Aligoté. Top example from one of the great domaines in Puligny. Bosc pear, green apple, wet stone and clean linen come through on the nose. The wine asserts itself on the palate with a tight mineral core, very lean on the fruit. This medium-full wine is dry and quite drying with a salty finish, just dying for food. Seafood tapas, Thai fried chicken wings and New England clam chowder come to mind immediately for pairings. W.M.
Single vineyard Riesling Smaragd (in Wachau “Smaragd” fruit is picked last, yielding age-worthy, structured wines) from one of Austria’s iconic domaines. Beautiful, bright concentrated lemon color in the glass. The nose is exuberant, offering a potpourri of ripe, prediminantly golden fruit across the spectrum: meyer lemon, bartlett pear, cantaloupe, dried peach, mango and cherry compote are all present in the bouquet. Subtle aromas of dried yellow flowers, river stones, basil and petrol add complexity. The wine is dry, but not without a few grams of residual sugar to add some charm. Full bodied, but beyond the ripe attack the fruit is leaner than the nose would lead one to believe; rather taut and mineral-driven with fresh acidity for a wine bottled thirteen years ago. The finish is long and refleshingly salty. High-energy stuff. Not inexpensive but made for the dinner table and worth
every penny! W.M.
This is some of the best New Zealand has to offer for serious, food-friendly Chardonnay at an “everyday drinking” price point. The flinty, Chablis-esque nose entices with subtle aromas of crisp green apple and wet stones; as well as not-so-subtle aromas of aged sheepsmilk cheese. Concentrated but mineral-driven and bone-dry. Slightly spritzy feel on attack indicating lees contact and unoaked ageing environment, but balanced otherwise. Drink right away with oysters and cream sauces. W.M.
Decant this one for an hour or two before drinking; at this point in its development it needs time. Complex bouquet of blueberry/blackberry jam, cured meat, violets and dark chocolate. New oak is evident. Medium-full-bodied, velvety and spice-laden. Dark, brooding and tightly knit on the palate. Drinks great in its youth but will cellar very nicely. W.M.
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