Vouette & Sorbée Blanc d'Argile Brut Nature
£60.59 (Inc. VAT bot. 75 cl.)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Gautherot’s (2010 vintage) NV Extra Brut Blanc d’Argile represents young Chardonnay vines (based on cuttings from Selosse and Dauvissat) in Kimmeridgian, and primary fermentation and malo took place in 400-liter barrels. While less multifaceted than the corresponding Pinot-based Fidele, this is only a little less unusual and intriguing. The nose was initially dominated by juniper and arbor vita, possibly prompted in large part by wood. Behind that, however, emerged bittersweet iris perfume, lemon zest, lemon pip, peanut, and eventually Chablis-like suggestions of herbed and salted chicken stock (here especially strong on celery leaf). Almost waxy in feel but with underlying firmness and lemon-tangerine brightness that help assuage its bitter elements, this finishes with impressive if slightly austere persistence. It should prove fascinating to follow for at least several years.
Between 10ºC and 12ºC
Fermented and aged in new French oak barrels from 300 litres. Minimum ageing of 36 months in bottle before disgorgement.