I admit “I Love Chardonnay”. Said it. I think that most of the stuff they call chardonnay in the New World is crap but when they make it in Burgundy it’s about as good as you get. Burgundy is the queen of chardonnay but as we all know the French have a tendency to make us pay. Someone in France once said ‘you can lie to your wife but never to your mistress’, and Vire Clesse is Burgundy’s mistress. It was only in 1997/98 that this little adjunct of a region north of Macon was given AOC status, and being that it is the mistress the regulators were much harder on what she could wear. Macon allows 70 hl/ha (that’s a lot of juice), Vire Clesse only allows 55. Furthermore Vire Clesse is only allowed 3 grams of sugar per liter – so preventing this mistress from ever becoming too sweet, or God forbid, late harvested.
The main attraction, for me at least, to Vire Clesse is price. I love a good Batard every now and again, but since I went off the Corporate Expense Account it’s been a while since that mistress passed my lips. VC on the other hand is poor man’s caviar. And in this region there is no better wine-maker than Andre Bonhomme. Back in the 50’s he was called mad when he decided to go his own route, stop selling his grapes to profiteering negociants and start making his own wine. Fast forward and much of the regulatory law book behind the VC appellation is down to how he makes wines. It’s all handmade, handpicked, hand sorted, hand bottled – his hands are everywhere.
The 2008 is simply fantastic. Sharp, clean yellow color in the glass, a nose of peach skin and pear, and on the palate – damn. There’s a cornucopia of fruit flavors – white peach, orange skin, pears, touch of Macintosh apple, all this with only a whiff of wood, and in-fact I suspect this wine (the lower rung of his VCs) probably saw no oak. You have to appreciate a wine like this – no comparisons to other chardonnays, just go with this, let it moisten the lips, tickle the tongue and engulf the back of your throat – just pure bliss. You might not be able to afford the Batards anymore but if you don’t buy this by the case and store a few bottles to drink over the next few years then you might as well just keep on drinking Yellow Tail.
- Producer: Andre Bonhomme
- Vintage: 2008
- Varietal: Chardonnay
- Country: France
- Region: Burgundy/Vire Clesse
- Production: Small
- Availability: First come first served. $28.00 pb. $23 pb on an unmixed case (stupid price)
Order: Ordering is simple. Click on the e-mail link below and tell me how many bottles you think you may want. We’ll figure out the rest from there and reply to your e-mail within 1 day.