No WOTW last week as I was lazing the week away on a boat in the Norfolk Broads. Which brings us to this wine that I tasted whilst watching a barn owl hunting of an evening.
Simon’s Wine of the Week is Cellier des Chartreux Oak Aged Chardonnay
I make absolutely no apologies for featuring another Chardonnay as my Wine of the Week. It may be much maligned in some quarters but in my view there simply isn’t a better white grape out there (with the occasional Riesling or Pinot Gris giving it a run for its money).
I’m amazed I haven’t featured a wine from the co-operative Cellier des Chartreux before. They make some absolutely cracking wines which have proved to be some of my favourites for drinking at home. This is high praise indeed. Based down not far from Avignon, close to the Rhone river, they’ve been making wine for nearly 100 years. With 750 hectares of sun-drenched vineyards and a state-of-the-art winery, they are at the forefront of the co-op movement in France.
This wine is an absolute cracker. It’s so good I am literally about to nip up to telesales and order myself a few bottles to take home. It is oaked Chardonnay par-excellence which would give a white Burgundy at three times the price a run for its money. On the nose it’s got lovely peachy fruit overlayed with distinct creamy, buttery, vanilla notes that come from oak ageing and a process called malolactic conversion, where green malic acids are converted to creamy lactic acids. To support that there’s just enough fresh citrussy lemon fruit to balance it out and stop it becoming overpowering.
The palate is medium to full-bodied, with that lovely stone fruit backbone buoyed up by more creamy, vanilla notes with just a touch of spice. There’s enough acidity here as well to make it drinkable on its own. The finish is creamy and rich and goes on for an age.
Obviously, this is perfect on its own, especially looking out over the big Norfolk sky watching barn owls. If you need a white wine for roast chicken or turkey, then this is a perfect choice. If you love Pouilly Fuisse or some of the ‘lesser’ Cote D’Or Burgundy wines (think St. Romain or St. Aubin) then I would definitely recommend trying this wine.
Have a great week all,