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It's Chardonnay...Again



Meursault fermenting in oak

I am beginning to think that, like a reincarnated dog, white burgundy is about to "have its day" all over again. Having been caught between the rock of the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) movement and the hard place of PremOx (see here), the wine drinking public's adoration of this most senior of blonde liquids withered like a new shoot in a hard frost.

A
couple of examples have caused notable reactions in me of late, both wines Italian and both from the thin-air stratum of £50 a bottle and above. The first was the Miani version, tasted from barrel in Friuli during my recent visit, the second from a new venture - Monteverro - in the Maremma. When told the tickets involved, my first impulse was a sort of semi-suppressed guffaw of the "how much?" variety. And then I tasted the wines again and thought that perhaps I was being unfair. Both wines were exceedingly good, especially the Miani. Are my sentiments aligning with the wine drinking generation that considers Chardonnay infra dig: too a) passé and b) socially gauche to invite into one's stemware?


I suspect that somewhere under the surface, I have long overlooked the fact that Chardonnay is still one of the world's greatest varieties. Visits to Burgundy aside (surely that's more burgundy than Chardonnay, isn't it?!??), I rarely find myself drinking a glass. And this is a shame. Gone are the pee-coloured, over-ripe-banana-and-oak-essence wines of the '90s. Here is a complex variety with which the world's wine makers really seem to be starting to fully understand.

This requires a reasonably stern note-to-self. A renaissance is upon us. Maybe its time the HAGAC (Have Another Go At Chardonnay) movement had its day.
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