Friday, January 18, 2008

Louis Latour Ardeche Chardonnay, 2005

Louis Latour is one of the oldest and most reputable houses in Burgundy, with roots going back to the 17th century. You can pay several hundred dollars (wisely, in fact) for a Louis Latour white Burgundy (Chardonnay) from a Grand Cru vineyard. Or you can pay $8 to $10 for this very well crafted Chardonnay from limestone-based vineyards in the Ardeche, an area west of the Rhone Valley. I usually end up buying at least several bottles of Ardeche and Grand Ardeche Chardonnay every year.

The winemaker at Louis Latour is one of the best in the business at matching different oak (or non-oak) treatments to the characteristics of the fruit he has to work with. In this case, stainless steel vats are used to preserve the freshness of the wine. The result is a delightful drink, with ripe pear and honey balanced against green apple/lemon acidity. All of the unadorned scents and flavors of Chardonnay are here in a fresh clean package. It's light on its feet but also ripe and silky smooth.

If you prefer new oak, look for the Grand Ardeche. It costs a few bucks more and is generally richer and more flamboyant. This might match up better with a cream-based pasta or sauce. For rainbow trout, or any fish, however, you can't go wrong with the regular Ardeche Chardonnay.


  1. I liked the unoaked Ardeche Chardonnay. It goes thru MLF, which gives it that creamy mouthfeel. Nice blog.

  2. Thanks. Yes, the regular Ardeche Chardonnay is an old favorite and always seems to be well made.