The introduction of Savaterre Chardonnay into Langton's latest classification really caught my eye. Why? Because I've never had it before and can't pass judgement. A bit of research reveals it as a high quality chardonnay (obviously) from the same region that brings us Giaconda. That's about all the selling I needed...
After following the back label's advice to decant for several hours, Savaterre's unfiltered and deeply coloured 2008 unloads a good dollop of toasty, buttery oak aromas laid in place by 2 years French oak maturation. Its wood is quite prominent at this stage but underneath it you'll find a deep fragrance of cumquat and peach, just lifted by a tight note of cinnamon. There could be a lack of buzz to its complex, relatively profound scent, but I can see time sorting things out. Beautifully textured, bright and savoury, its palate is sumptuously expressive yet soft and fluffy, revealing a considerable strength concealed by a gentle nature. It presents a smooth and seamless balance of faintly tropical chardonnay fruits with toasty/buttery oak, framed by a viscous undercarriage of yeasty characters and a refreshingly brisk acidity, which combine to deliver the wine with perfect harmony towards a good, spotlessly clean finish marked by tasty touches of buttery nuts and light spice.
ü+ A superbly textured chardonnay whose complex winemaker inputs play the starring role, but its quality of fruit is such that it remains a most brilliant drink. It'll be particularly interesting to see how this balance evolves over the next few years. Drink to 2016.