Monday, November 17, 2008

Gilbert Picq Chablis Premier Cru Vosgros, 1997

This is a beautiful example of a Premier Cru Chablis at a good stage of maturity. It bears no resemblance to other bottles of this same wine that I bought at the same time and drank earlier this year. I've put the previous bottles in the class of "predox" or "prematurely oxidized" white Burgundy from the late 1990s. But this wine is certainly not prematurely oxidized or anything else. It is beautiful.

The color is medium deep (previous bottles were several shades darker). The nose is fresh and clean--strong flinty notes but not at all heavy. Also unwooded Chardonnay smells: apple, pear, lime. Very limey, in fact, but not from French oak. The wine has a light, fresh feel on the palate but with strong, persistent flavors. Flint and lime dominate the mid-palate sandwiched between butter and nuts at the front and back. Strikes a perfect balance between ripe fruit and flinty earth tones.

This wine is exactly what I expected it to become when I bought it a decade ago. I still have one or two more. Will they be like this one? Or like the oxidized disasters I've had before?

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