Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

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Herwig Janssen
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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#1 Post by Herwig Janssen » October 9th, 2015, 12:15 am

Our wine club got together for a blind tasting of Chardonnay wines from France and the rest of the world . This was another enlightening evening , with wines all over the place . No less than 3 expensive white Burgundies were pre-moxed . Some very highly praised wines were borderline undrinkable . And then you had the beautiful wines , yes , we had that too .
It was a blind tasting , mostly in duo’s , except the first and the last flight .We started with the least expensive wines , ended with the most expensive ones .
( first wine was what we call an in-drinker : some So2 on the nose , floral , tight with good length . Interesting wine , well made . 89/100 Domaine de Bargylus , Syria ! Yes , a Syrian wine . Chardonnay and sauvignon , incredible that they still make wine in this country . Not bad at all)
Flight 1
A1 : Smoky , too much for me . The wood gives a slightly burning finish . This may improve when decanted and aged . 88/100 = Boisson-Vadault 2011 Grand Charrons
A2 : floral , yummy wine , really elegant . 92/100 = Kumeu River Hunting Hill 2007 New Zealand chardonnay ( everybody except 1 taster preferred this wine )
Flight 2
B1 : beautiful spicy nose , a lot of wood but in an elegant way , classic burgundy .93/100 = Henri Boillot 2009 Clos de la Mouchere
B2 : sweet and creamy , cloying and annoying , undrinkable for me NR = Tiglat , Velich 2012 ( bizarre for a 60 Euro wine ) . Obviously , we all preferred Boillot
Flight 3
C1 : Deep yellow color , very sweet , very rich , over ripe , initially borderline oxidized , then completely oxidized NR ( Paul Pernot Batard Montrachet 2008 )
C2 : light and floral , tastes like Sauvignon , tight , nothing special 88/100 = Gaja & Rey 2013 chardonnay Italy .
Flight 4
D1 : strange nose of bubble gum and wood , vegetal and grassy , I find this undrinkable NR = Bodegas Catena Zapata White Bones chardonnay . ( I cannot understand that the Wine Advocate gives this 97 points .. what was he smoking ? )
D2 : Classic Burgundy , in the style of Leflaive , young but delicious already 94/100 = 2007 Blain-Gagnard Batard Montrachet ( we all preferred this one… )
Flight 5
E1 : tight , mineral , long and intense , this is a top wine , light bodied so build en finesse . Delicious 95/100 = 2012 Penfolds Yattarna bin 144 Chardonnay . ( djeez , Australia makes top white Burgundy ; in another tasting , we were flabbergasted by Giaconda , now this one )
E2 : deep yellow… premox… = Pierre Morey Batard Montrachet 2005
Flight 6
F1 : way too sweet , I cannot drink this , caricatural , ludricous because I know this must cost well over $ 200 . NR = Aubert Sugar Shack 2012 ( yeah , sugar shack it is )
F2 : golden color , border line oxidized , terrible NR = 2008 Chevalier Montrachet Leflaive ( I had another bottle last month which was fantastic , this came from the same case… it’s a pure scandal )
Flight 7
G1 : super wine , tight and young but so much class . 97+ /100. = Montrachet 2010 Jadot
G2 : very rich wine , very ripe and imo a little too ripe , excellent but not great . It lacks freshness and minerality . California for sure 94/100 = Marcassin 2010 Marcassin Vineyard .
G3 : excellent wine , fat , forward , not my style but that must be the year . 95/100 = Henri Boillot 2005 Montrachet . ( all votes went to the Jadot ).

At the end of the tasting , we all voted for our personal top-3 wines . End score
1. Montrachet Jadot 2010 21 points
2. Penfolds Yattarna 2012 : 12 loints
3. Henri Boillot Montrachet 2005 : 10 points
4. Boillot Mouchere and Blain Gagnard Batard : 4 points .
So… we had no less than 8 wines that were undrinkable or pretty bad . They were all very expensive . Chardonnay remains a mine field .
Kudos to Neal Martin for opening my eyes to this delicious Kumeu Chardonnay from New Zealand . It costs 20 Euros here in Belgium , which is a steal .

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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#2 Post by François van Oevelen » October 9th, 2015, 1:24 am

Hehe Herwig,

Yes, it was bizarre last night.

I am sure that everyone who was there at the tasting, totally agrees with what you say.

2005....well for white, not my favorite year either.....

As always great coordination.

Looking forward to our next tasting on november 25th 2015.

François

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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#3 Post by Paul Seah » October 9th, 2015, 2:39 am

Very interesting tasting.

I have had several bottles of Penfolds Yattarna back to the late 1990s that fooled everybody (myself included) even when served blind next to a Montrachet or two. On the other hand, I have also had some that were overweight and clearly new worldish. When on song though, they are truly great wines.

Agree on the Kumeu River too. The Mate's vineyard Chardonnay from them is another favourite of mine in blind tastings - it almost always gets picked out as Puligny somehow.
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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#4 Post by BrianMarshall » October 9th, 2015, 3:39 am

I love the Blain-Gagnard whites, too bad they have such a poor track record with premox.
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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#5 Post by Kent Comley » October 9th, 2015, 4:00 am

2012 Yattarna is the real deal.
Great tasting and I do appreciate the candid notes.
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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#6 Post by John Ammons » October 9th, 2015, 8:29 am

Oxidized '08 Pernot Batard? Ouch. Isn't this producer considered largely above the fray?

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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#7 Post by Rauno E (NZ) » October 9th, 2015, 10:56 am

Great notes, thanks Herwig. The best way to "enjoy" a premoxed bottle is at tastings like this - much better than when you open one just for the 2-3 of you! Out of interest, how were the wines prepared? Popped and poured?
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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#8 Post by Matthew King » October 9th, 2015, 11:12 am

Forget the whites! neener

Cool to see a tasting note about a bottle from Syria.

I guess Tanzer won't be dropping by the winery for a visit/tasting note anytime soon ...

Seriously on the whites, love to see those sneaker wines from South Africa, NZ steal a bit of thunder sometimes. Gets me to recalibrate and re-think my preconceptions/buying habits.

Best to you ...
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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#9 Post by J a y H a c k » October 9th, 2015, 11:49 am

I "discovered" the Yattarna last year when I got the 1998 and 1999 at auction just to see how people would react to them when served blind at Leo's Blind Tasting Group. They had aged beautifully and I agree with your assessment that it is an outstanding wine. No one had a clue that they were from Australia and just about everyone agreed that they were wonderful.
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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#10 Post by BrianMarshall » October 9th, 2015, 12:00 pm

John Ammons wrote:Oxidized '08 Pernot Batard? Ouch. Isn't this producer considered largely above the fray?
I was always of the belief that they were an average offender, although its been a while since I've looked at the stats.
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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#11 Post by Mark C Johnson » October 9th, 2015, 12:08 pm

Great tasting notes but once again proves the old adage that burgundy is a minefield only this time a pre-mox minefield!
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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#12 Post by Chris Blum » October 9th, 2015, 12:12 pm

What a great write up of a fun sounding tasting. Thanks.
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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#13 Post by NAdell » October 9th, 2015, 6:34 pm

I can only speak from personal experience, but having opened somewhere between 50-75 bottles of Pernot whites, only one or two have been oxidized. I've never had an issue with older Batard and BBM, going back to 2001. One of the reasons I prefer to buy Pernot.

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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#14 Post by Herwig Janssen » October 10th, 2015, 2:28 am

I uncorked the wines a few hours before in my cellar and , left them alone and transporter them in a cool box . temperature was perfect .
What a crying shame about Leflaive . Premox has been there since approx 1998 , I now recently experienced a premoxed Chevalier Montrachet from 2007 AND 2008 . The Domaine untill now always denied any problems , I wonder how this will bewith the new management ...
Both highly touted US wines did not do well either . I am a fan of US Chardonnay ( Ramey , Peter Michael ) for what it is . But these wines have nothing in common with a white Burgundy from a normal year ( so not 2003 or 2006 ). They are different .

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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#15 Post by StevenB » October 10th, 2015, 3:00 am

Thanks for the notes, very interesting.

I really like those Kumeu River Chardonnays (screw cap on all or almost all wines, if I recall correctly). This is a great alternative to me now and I like them better than most German Chardonnays.

I agree on the Velich. His style of Chardonnay (Tiglat and also the Darscho) is not the one I enjoy to drink.
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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#16 Post by Drew Goin » October 10th, 2015, 8:15 am

Kumeu River Chardonnays are the bomb!

No smoke taint in the Syrian wine? (Too soon?)

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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#17 Post by c fu » October 10th, 2015, 8:40 am

Herwig Janssen wrote:I uncorked the wines a few hours before in my cellar and , left them alone and transporter them in a cool box . temperature was perfect .
What a crying shame about Leflaive . Premox has been there since approx 1998 , I now recently experienced a premoxed Chevalier Montrachet from 2007 AND 2008 . The Domaine untill now always denied any problems , I wonder how this will bewith the new management ...
Both highly touted US wines did not do well either . I am a fan of US Chardonnay ( Ramey , Peter Michael ) for what it is . But these wines have nothing in common with a white Burgundy from a normal year ( so not 2003 or 2006 ). They are different .
The 2007 and on are being hit really hard with premox by leflaive. Sucks.
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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#18 Post by alan weinberg » October 11th, 2015, 5:51 am

NAdell wrote:I can only speak from personal experience, but having opened somewhere between 50-75 bottles of Pernot whites, only one or two have been oxidized. I've never had an issue with older Batard and BBM, going back to 2001. One of the reasons I prefer to buy Pernot.
Pernot had and admits problems in 95
and 96. Haven't seen issues since. The value BBM!

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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#19 Post by Kent Comley » October 11th, 2015, 5:53 pm

Excellent article by Jancis Robinson on the re invention of Oz Chardies for a bit of context. http://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/ ... -australia
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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#20 Post by Barry Rothof » October 13th, 2015, 7:37 am

Nice tasting! No Coche-Dury [basic-smile.gif] ???

Btw,- Boisson – Vadault must be -> Boisson – Vadot ?
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Chardonnay blind tasting : France versus rest of the world . Premox , bizarre , ugly and great

#21 Post by Mike Grammer » October 13th, 2015, 9:34 am

Absolutely, thanks for sharing the night and your impressions, Herwig. Darned shame about the 08 Pernot Batard which was brilliant when I tried it at Paul's winery a few years ago. I love Blain-Gagnard's stuff, the Criots from 08 has been special the 3 times I've had it.

Have never had a Yattarna, I see I need to put it on the seek-out list. I have had a couple Giacondas and found them both to be very big wines (I prefer their Roussanne in general).

Again, thanks for letting us peek into your experiences.

Skal,

Mike
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