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  • Julia Harding MW
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  • Julia Harding MW
2 Dec 2011

From €17.90 and £20.15

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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.

St_Aubin_mapThe 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.

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