From €17.90 and £20.15
From young Chardonnay vines on the tiny vineyard of Fontenotte, next to premier cru Les Champlots (see map below), winemaker Damien Colin, son of Marc, has produced a wine that for me highlights all the best qualities of 2008 white burgundy: purity and restrained intensity without an ounce of excess flesh. Here's how I described the wine when I tasted it at a recent Vine Trail event in London, where it stood out among pretty stiff competition from other classic French whites:
Delicate lemony nose. Very, very slight (attractive) smoky reductiveness, hint of cedar from the oak. Good intensity, lovely creamy lemon freshness and a mineral edge to add sophistication. Youthful, delicious.
Although it is giving great pleasure now, it should continue to do so for at least a couple more years, depending on your preference for primary versus more developed flavours. Two-thirds of the wine was fermented and aged 10 months in French oak, the rest in steel to highlight the freshness.
The exact location of the vineyard is not labelled on this St-Aubin map, taken from the Dom Marc Colin et Fils website and originally from Les Vins de Bourgogne by Sylvain Pitiot and Jean-Charles Servant, but it is apparently in a little combe (a hollow on a hillside, also known as combe in English, it seems) between the hamlet of Gamay and Saint-Aubin. The vines here, planted in 1985 on clay-limestone soils on a slight slope, are the last to ripen, which accounts for the wine's refreshing, zesty purity.
In the UK, this wine is available at £20.95 per single bottle from Uncorked or as part of a mixed case from Vine Trail or as a case of 12 from Fine and Rare. It can also be tracked down via Wine-Searcher in Germany, Denmark, France and Belgium but unfortunately not in the US.