Today the lovely Jane Denley of Woodlands Jersey Beef popped around to help service our meat demands for the festive period. Regular readers will know The Editor and I are big fans of Woodlands Jersey Beef. Indeed, I’d feel quite confident in saying it’s the best beef I’ve had in the UK. Consequently, we were very happy that Jane had the time to join us for a glass of wine. It pleasured us hugely to thank her for the immense gratification her meat always delivers.
Alain Chavy is one of the two brothers who inherited Gerard Chavy’s fine estate in Puligny-Montrachet. I used to buy his wines all the time when I was at University – they were relatively affordable but still excellent examples of the village. I knew some people who claimed his wines were thin, but this was absolute nonsense. They clearly didn’t understand the quality of Puligny wines. Anyway, when I served these people Chavy wines blind they were always lapped up with gusto – ha! Alain continues to make wines in a similar fine, delicate style to his father. I rather fancy, based on the large swimming pool of a sample I’ve be-sported myself in, quality has increased a shade.
Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru Pucelles 2005, Alain Chavy
Riesling may be the white grape variety, but, when it’s good, Chardonnay can hoist a resplendent erection – this smells good! It has the delicate, creamy richness I want from Puligny enhanced by a bit of mature breadth. The combination of fruit, stoniness and complex mature aromas is really rather pleasing. Well, I’m pleased by it, and if you were not I’d turf you out on your ear for being such a philistine. Glad I didn’t have to eject Jane… This is clearly at a really pleasing stage of maturity and well up for imbibing. The palate lives up to the nose with a fine interplay between elegant mineral/acid/fruit characters and richer, broader flavours that have developed with age. All these flavours persist for a decent time, so it keeps you keen as mustard even when you’ve swallowed. There’s still plenty of energy to it, something I always like. No need to keep it any longer as the intricate interplay between liveliness and graceful development makes this quite the top drop now. Really very good.
You should try and score some Alain Chavy wines as, compared to other Puligny producers, they won’t give your fun token rationing agent a cerebral haemorrhage when you ask to buy a couple of cases. Pucelles is the best Premier Cru but don’t feel short-changed if Folatieres is your only option – that’s the whelk’s winkle too. His village Puligny is a good buy for drinking over its first few years of life. Howard Ripley carry them in the UK.
Finally, I toast Christian’s good health with this wine for being a generous contributor to the Davy Strange Continual Drinking Fund. Thanks, old stick.