Grapemates Christmas Party (Atelier, Sydney): Sweaty, lemon, floral and pineapple - nice intensity to the aromatics. There is good rich fruit but the acidity cuts through nicely, with a flinty note that I found pleasing. Really very good.
This is yet another winner from Chidaine, and I have not found any losers. Even so, this is particularly special, even for him. Loads of chalky mineral on the nose, along with some telltale wet wool, steely and gravelly mineral, lemon, ripe apples and pears, all kinds of interesting spice notes (ginger, dried sage), a bit of dusty earth, I could go on and on. There is tremendous complexity here, plenty of acidic lift (high acid), and the wine is basically dry. This is truly one of the best values out there: under $30 and outstanding.
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(François Chidaine Montlouis Les Bournais) Whether this cuvée is dry or sweet depends on the vintage. The vines are 15 years old, and François described the terroir here as more like Vouvray, without flint. In 2009 it shows a wonderful minerality on the nose, all crumbly volcanic rocks; this is very expressive. It has a lovely minerality here, a softer texture than 2008 and 2007, but still with a wonderfully vibrant acidity and minerality. This is definitely one of the better sec cuvées from François Chidaine in this vintage. It has an almost soapy character, but I still really like it. This should be great.