Wednesday, February 4, 2009

2005 Chablis Premier Cru Montmains

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2005 Domaine Jean-Claude Bessin, AC Chablis Premier Cru Montmains.

Sometimes you just really need a wine to pick up your spirits. I havn't had a wine like that in a very long time. Needed something to cheer me up, give me a positive emotional response. So here we are, a Chablis Premier Cru.

I've never looked on chardonnay kindly. I don't have the resources to drink white Burgundy on a regular basis, and New World chardonnays, with the exception of some Niagara producers, have always disappointed. But this wine, it demonstrated the greatness of Burgundy, and why it produces one of the greatest white wines of the world.

Light, lemon colour, almost colourless at the rim. Intense nose of minerals, citrus, green apple, and sweet oranges. A lovely, round texture in the mouth, so velvety. Stiff acidity to cleanse the palate, and a long, ethereal, appetizingly slight bitter finish. Layers and layers of aromas and flavours, this is an absolutely delicious wine.

The purity and intensity of this wine is amazing - you really don't get this balance of fruit, minerality, acidity, and richness in any other wine. The terroir of Montmains is clearly showcased. Just a touch of oak - only 15% of this wine is fermented and barrel-aged. Great clarity and freshness. I have no doubt that the minerality will become even more present with some age, but this wine is drinking extremely well now.

I feel like I'm in a better mood. This is as religious of a wine experience as I've ever had. With half a bottle left, I'm excited to see how it develops. Maybe it's just a thought, but I can't remember the last time a red wine has excited me like this. I remember a few German and Niagara rieslings that've got me going, but the last red wine? White wine, to me, is able to express terroir with greater clarity and honesty. There's less tricks you can do with it, because human manipulation is instantly unveiled on the first sniff.

Anyways....this wine has restored my faith in what chardonnay can do in the right terroir. I'd love to see what other wines I can get from this Domaine. It's expensive, but good Chablis is definitely worth it.

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