Chablis can be such a great wine – when they sing they are expressions of Chardonnay at its purest and most thrilling. 2005 was a great vintage and tonight’s example comes from a great vineyard and is made by one of the hottest producers on the Chablis-porn scene. I expect it to be tumescent with thrills and swollen with style when it comes to necking it.
I have a hard time with super-sweet wines, they are just so over-whelming and exhausting. If I am obliged to drink such a wine I think Lang’s offerings, particularly the Scheurebe (known as Samling 88 in Austria), are well worth battling your way through; you might even have some fun when you drink them.
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Chablis Premier Cru Fourchaume ‘Vignoble de Vaulorent’ 2005, Domaine William Fevre
Cripes, this is a nose to wallow in and let it engulf you with its layers of powerful complexity. It is very nutty, with a smoky, flinty minerality and plenty of super refined ripe lemon fruit. It has real scale, though, really impressive presence and is certainly not short on dimension. I bloody love sniffing this, it has the density of a Grand Cru but the finesse of a top, screamingly beautiful Premier Cru. The palate is ultra-sophisticated Premier Cru in character, beguilingly lively, vivid, and expressive. It is bursting with a delicious lemon character and its intricate minerality is a total joy to taste. It certainly has puissance, but this seems secondary to its finely-honed, cultured style which just pulses with elegance. It is already a splendid drink of aesthetic brilliance but I can see it continuing to evolve if carefully cellared, providing multi-faceted pleasures for those who have enough bottles to follow its development over the medium to long term. Yeah man, this is tits!
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Samling 88 Trockenbeerenauslese 2006, Lang
This is orange, but not a worrying shade of orange – good. It doesn’t smell even remotely oxidised but is charged with grapefruit aromas and plenty of peaches and cream botrytis characters. It is not exactly complex, but it has more character than a lot of these super sweeties. It is very sweet, sugar-tastic, but there is plenty of tasty fruit and just about enough acidity to stop it from being overblown and flabby. Again, it doesn’t seem bursting with dimension yet it is not without interest. I’m pleased it is not just a sugary wine; I feel it is a better drink than, for example, those god-awful Alois Kracher confections which are just an appalling fight of thankless drudgery to plough through when you are served a glass by some over-enthusiastic, easily impressed fan of raw sweetness. I despise Kracher wines, this Lang has more harmony and provides more drinking enjoyment.