Richard, ever the generous host, recently opened an ’05 Chassagne Montrachet which we reviewed not long ago. It was oxidised. This bottle is its identical twin.
Visually, it was an attractive sparkling gold, clear and bright with some viscosity. So far so good. The nose would be crucial – oxidised or not?
Not. This had a lemon sherbet (thanks Richard) bouquet, not overpoweringly citrus but lightly so – which accompanied a slightly hazel nut aroma. This was now promising.
The taste was of a big, rich dry wine with some acidity – all of the primary flavours were present. But it lacked finesse. It had an uncomplicated style; one would almost describe it as simple and, it must be said, slightly disappointing for that.
We both were pleased about the lack of oxidation so everything else was a bonus.
The wax seal over the traditional cork was interesting. The cork lets in minuscule quantities of oxygen and helps the wine’s development in the bottle. A wax capsule would prevent ingress of oxygen therefore the wine’s development is generated only by what is held inside the bottle, the chemical reactions being different and slower. If there was a possibility of a problem, in 2005, with the too hasty development – and early oxidation – of that vintage, wouldn’t any wine-maker want to slow the maturing process down?
Just a thought.
[Richard: very nice, but, as Geoff hints, we were so relieved it wasn’t off we were initially rather uncritical. On reflection, nothing special and on that basis – overpriced. The 2005 seems to be sold out now but around £30 was probably the going rate a few years ago.]