Novellum Chardonnay 2011
The outstanding 2011 Novellum competes with some of the finest Macon-Villages wines one can find. It is made from 100% Chardonnay (from 25- to 30-year-old vines), aged three months in a combination of Burgundy barrels (30%) and stainless steel tanks (70%), and, somewhat innovatively, is aged on Viognier lees which gives it a honeysuckle and white peach-scented nose. There is also a salty sea breeze character reminiscent of the crushed oyster shell-like note my colleague David Schildknect often detects in Loire Valley whites. This crisp, fresh, medium-bodied Cotes Catalanes exhibits lots of earthy/terroir characteristics. Readers should think of it as a brisk, zesty, authoritatively flavored Chardonnay from the cool, alluvial soils on the banks of the Aigly River.