14 April 2006

Mâcon the grade

Texier 2000 Mâcon Bussières (Mâcon) – Simple dried pineapple with hints of melon and grapefruit rind and a touch of fading, mushroomy earthiness. This is a friendly wine just leaving its middle age, and while it has lasted in fine balance, it did not reward aging by developing further complexity.

A lot of people adore the aromas and flavors of young chardonnay. I’m not one of them. It’s either too simplistic and boring au natural, or it’s tarted up with butter from its malolactic fermentation and slathered with layers toasty/spicy barrel makeup. The virgin or the whore, to borrow a characterization, with neither a complete and interesting individual. There are exceptions, but they’re occasional at best. What usually makes chardonnay interesting is its ability to bring forth its complexities and its terroir through careful aging, as so many wines from up and down the length of Burgundy (including Chablis and the Mâcon) have shown…though New World winemakers can, from the right sites, achieve this as well. Here, we have a wine that lasted…it endured six years of aging without showing either the face under the makeup or wrinkled skin over old bones…but did not age, in the sense that it did not develop and reveal hidden strengths and characters within. It’s important to understand this difference, but it’s also important to recognize that this does not devalue a wine; there is most definitely a place for wines that are upfront about their intentions from the moment they’re released. This – though it wasn’t clear to me at release – was one of them. Alcohol: 12%. Closure: cork. Importer: Louis/Dressner/LDM. Web: http://www.eric-texier.com.

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