It’s often said that we only regret the things we don’t do and the list of those is too numerous to name. Some of them I’m happy not to do. Getting up at 5am to exercise sounds great in theory but not being a morning person makes me a tad dubious about it. As does buying extremely expensive wines when I can taste the diminishing law of returns quite clearly in the wine analysis I do. But this week my perceptions were altered and I realised I haven’t been drinking enough great Chardonnay.
Two wines made from the world’s most popular white grape opened doors of flavour that I don’t often get to walk through. They are from Domaine Pattes Loup in Burgundy, both made with grapes from Premier Cru vineyards, which automatically raises the cost of production. They are Butteaux and Beauregard.
This one was my top pick and is my wine of this week.
2016 Domaine Pattes Loup Chablis Butteaux 1er $130
Winemaker Thomas Pico is at the forefront of new wave producers in the chilly region of Chablis, Burgundy’s northern outpost, where he grew up in a small village called Courgis and fell in love with wine from his father and grape growing grandfather. He studied viticulture and winemaking in Beaune then took over eight hectares of the family’s vineyard estate in 2004, converting it to certified organic land, creating his own small domain, Pattes Loup. The name means wolf’s paws, hence the artwork on some of his labels.
Butteaux is one of three premier crus vineyards planted in vines between 30 and 55 years old. This wine is matured purely in older French oak, in which it is typically aged for between 14 to 16 months. All grapes are hand harvested and fully certified organic. It tastes like Chardonnay at top speed; concentrated lemon zest and a creamy texture provide huge immediacy and a flavour that says ‘drink me now’ but the structure suggests that this gorgeous full bodied, dry and impressive white wine could also last the distance for the very long term.
This wine is a keeper.