A Monday in the Hamptons with some Burgundy Superstars: Wölffer Estate Chardonnay Reserve 2004, Long Island

What a start into a new week!!! Chardonnay all over the place! This time I went back to Wölffer Estate on Long Island with some big shot names from Burgundy. On the one hand the highly profound and mineral Chablis Montée de Tonnerre 2004 from François Raveneau and on the other hand the more “surprising” Puligny-Montrachet 2005 from Louis Carillon.

Wölffer Estate Chardonnay Reserve 2004, Long Island

After the Merlot Reserve I am back in the Hamptons. This time it had to be the much praised Chardonnay Reserve from Roman Roth. Before opening I wasn’t so sure how this one might present itself. To be honest, I thought it might have gone the way of all wines go (sooner or later). Luckily I was wrong (better said partly wrong). I am sure two years ago this Chardonnay would have been better. But dead? Definitely not! The colour looked aged, but not old. A certain glance of vividness was still apparent. The nose wasn’t all too profound, but decently subtle. I got fragrances of tangerines, some more exotic fruits, hints of mangosteen and a bit of old aged flinty funk. The taste showed a delicate structure (12,5 %) with medium depth, fine acid, mouth-filling qualities and a decent finish. The fruit flavours came from mild lemons, hints of mango, tangerines and a mangosteen or two. At the end I got a very slight impression of bitterness. Nothing really unsettling for sure. Overall a very nice surprise with high quaffability for little money!

Domaine François Raveneau Chablis Montée de Tonnerre 1er Cru 2004

Pure and utter limestone licking! That might describe this wine in a propper and concise way. The colour was relatively bright. In general and especially for its age. A few particles dived around. The nose appeared to me as very stony, smoky and mineral’y. Rather lean and subtle. Hardly any oak and as definite definitely can be - not super fruity. Besides the mineral character I got scents of lemon peel, kiwi and other citrus associations. The taste was highly mineral, got refined smoke, even a bit more clean flintiness and very sublime set back fruit flavours of various kinds of lemons. A slight, but very appropriate oak influence was present. The acid was very 2004’ish and provided the Montée de Tonnerre with plenty of sturdy life. Well, what can I say? The taste was so damn profound and long lasting which impressed me in its own way. I have to confess it wasn’t so easy for me give this wine a “fantastic”, because I missed a certain spark of joyful epiphany or personal madness. I guess it has something to do with its gaunt and tough character. But that is my “problem”! Great piece of work with quite a lot of aging potential left! A real media-shy superstar!

Domaine Louis Carillon et Fils Puligny-Montrachet 2005

As I already mentioned, the Puligny-Montrachet from Carillon was „surprising“! Unfortunately not really in a positive way! Its colour seem pretty regular and surely alive. The bouquet showed attributes of red apples, dextrose, greenery, maybe hints of something like turpentine (maybe a flaw, but not really obvious?). I couldn't really get an obvious defect from this bottle. For me, it just seemed rather one-dimensional, a bit clumsy and broad fruited. The taste seem unusually alcoholic (13,5 %). Not really a lot, but still somehow disturbing. The flavours were dominated by mashed red apples or apple juice, sleepy lemons and a bit too much  propper strength as well as a few hints of caramel. A rather one-dimensional pleasure! The not at all too cunning, lively and intense acid did not do it for me either. Absolutely drinkable wine for far too much money! Could have been a flaw? Could have been an over-ripeness situation? Could be still too young? I really don't know! However, this bottle was a boring superstar!

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