I am not trying to compare these two chardonnays although reader is free to draw comparisions! The Leflaive was tasted at dinner last night over a 2 hour period, whilst the Crawford was tasted in a busy winebar environment. Both of course quite distinct but have to say right away the Leflaive was one of the best whites from France that I have tasted in a long time...and I am fond of French whites!! Why is it I have not drunk more Chablis? Dale`s recent notes got me just a tad interested this week!
WTN: `05 Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay, South Island NZ.
Color is a pale yellow with green tinges, on par I guess? The nose has the typical pineapple, apple, honeydew and dried apricots. On the palate, medium intensity, good acidity with melon, apple, pear. Nice smooth finish with more tropical fruits as it warms, also butterscotch! Fair mid-palate, easy drinking style and similar to the Evans and Tate from Australia.
My associate was sampling the Villa Maria and thought I may have a better wine. I did not taste his!
WTN: `04 Olivier Leflaive Les Deux Rives, Chablis Fr.
I am neither a big Chardonnay fan and certainly not a very knowledgable Chablis devotee, but this wine drew rave thoughts last night. The minerally aspect of this white was mind-blowing and the acidity was termendous.
12.5% alc, synthetic cork, grapes selected by hand (no machines here folks). Great Burgundy negociant and $27 Cdn.
Color. Medium straw, no green. Lovely, lively.
Nose. Lime, apple, flint/stones w. trace of nuts. The acidity blows out at you! "Sea shells" was a comment around the table, true. I just loved that minerally element, this is good stuff!
Palate. Initial mouthfeel entry thoughts were minerally, great balance, terrific acidity. Medium bodied with very appealing texture, apple, lemon, no oak. Some tropical fruits as it opens but oh the minerally acidity and I quite appreciate the dusty chalky finish! If you only know new world, this will be a big surprise! Sure, it`s not all that subtle and this is Chablis folks. One has to wonder about those big grand crus after tasting this one! No more terroir arguements from me, thats for sure.