Alain Chavy St-Aubin Premier Cru En Remilly 2018
Wines from St-Aubin display some of the same tension, structure and minerality found in the neighboring villages of Puligny and Chassagne. Aging in a small percentage of new French oak barrels lends accents of toast and vanilla.
White Burgundy, with its rich texture and toasted flavors, pairs well with white fish and shellfish and its naturally high acidity can counterbalance cream-based sauces. Oak-aged Chardonnay from warmer climates lends itself well to grilled fish, starches, butter, and toasted nuts.
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The 2018 Saint-Aubin En Remilly 1er Cru comes from vines planted in 1997 and is matured in 30% new oak. The floral bouquet reveals scents of cold limestone percolating through the malic fruit. The palate is quite rounded on the entry, offering notes of orange pith and lime. It has a slightly powdery texture, especially toward the finish, and good weight and persistence. Maybe I err toward the Puligny Charmes, which seems to demonstrate more mineralité at the moment.
The sons of Gerald Chavy have split their fathers holdings into two domains. They remain one of handful of growers that still reside in Puligny. Most domains are now owned by outsiders. Decanter Magazine selected both Alain and Jean Louis Chavy as one of 'the most improved domaines in Burgundy. Great vineyard sites, especially the Folatieres. The other other grower in Clavoillons is Domaine Lefaive. Alain owns 6.5 hectares of splendid vineyards. Alain makes restrained style of Puligny with ripe fruit balanced by crisp acidity, which are designed to long aging. Almost no chemicals are used in the vineyards apart for protection against mildew. All grapes are hand harvested, pressed and fermented in barrel at not more than 25 degrees.
A steep, upcountry basin (referred to as a combe in French) in the southern end of the Côte de Beaune, St. Aubin is a direct westerly neighbor to Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet. Recent years have seen a boom in white wine production so that now Chardonnay accounts for more than three quarters of area under vine here. Two thirds of St. Aubin is classified Premier Cru (30 total vineyards); most notable include Les Charmois, La Chatenière, En Remilly and Les Murgers Dents de Chie. The Premiers Crus of St. Aubin, wrapping like a ribbon upon the southeast and southwest facing slopes, produce fresh and elegant whites from Chardonnay. When young, these tout a refreshing grip and convey qualities of white flowers, citrus, pear, green almond and wet stone. Given some age, a graceful evolution occurs so that older St. Aubin whites express richer aromas of beeswax, honey, marzipan and spice.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.