Episode 54 – 7th April 2021
Two Stunning Chardonnays
Looking back over the last few editions of Wednesday Wines I have noticed that there has been a preponderance of red wines reviewed, so this week here are two sensational Chardonnays which caught my eye! If the weather picks up again (it snowed yesterday in Battersea) I promise I will throw a few rosés into the mix next week!
2020 Domaine Begude, Le Haut du Puits, Terroir 11300, Haute Vallée de l’Aude, France (£69.00, per case of 6 bottles – £11.50 each, www.goedhuis.com).
I wrote a long piece about the wonderful Kinglake family and their idyllic estate in Limoux, in Episode 10 of Wednesday Wines a year ago, so if you would like to read about some of the background of this wine then please use the search facility on this website. Long term experts at making cool-climate Chardonnays in the South of France I actually served a precursor of this very wine at my own wedding (back in 2010), such is the sheer quality and also the crowd-pleasing appeal of Begude’s creations. Goedhuis commissioned their very own cuvée in the 2020 vintage, Le Haut de Puits, and it is a stunningly beautiful wine. Gentle, pretty, faintly honeysuckle-kissed and serene on the palate this is a wonderful everyday white for the spring and summer which you can serve to all-comers and with all dishes. In a word – delightful.
2018 Amen Break, Quarry Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay, Macedon, Victoria, Australia (£24.00, www.swig.co.uk).
According to the wine and music experts at Swig, the Amen Break is said to be the most sampled drum beat in musical history. The Harrop brothers, who make this wine, say that just as that drumbeat is perfect in its simplicity, so too is their philosophy to replicate a winemaking ‘perfect simplicity’. They report, “Our vines produce a small crop of concentrated, outstanding quality fruit that is harvested by hand, and to which we apply minimal intervention to achieve exceptional quality”. At a mere 13% alcohol, this is a lush, expansive, silky, but not too rich Chardonnay with great lift on the finish. While many try to achieve this momentum and bounce on the palate few actually manage it and at £24 this is a snip to pay for a wine of this integrity and sheer deliciousness.
nb – the music above was annotated by Kugland redone by Bo98