1999 Chassagne-Montrachet "Les Chaumes" - Printable Version

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- wondersofwine - 08-20-2001 08:59 AM

This was from Verget. It normally sells for $48 to $52 but my usual wine shop had it on sell for $36.99 so I sampled my one bottle to see if I should buy more on sale. 13% alcohol Color: light gold Aroma of green apple, pear and pineapple. On the palate: lime, melon (possibly honeydew) and more pineapple. A crisp, slightly acidic wine with some oaking. As I held the wine in my mouth the sensation of lime grew stronger.
I was going to drink it with halibut prepared according to Lolly's recommendation but couldn't find halibut at the grocery store. Had it with leftover porkchops the first night and then with shrimp. I boiled the shrimp with nothing added to the water but celery stalk leaves. Then squeezed a little lime juice on the drained shrimp (to match the strong lime sensation of the wine). Added sauteed baby carrots and slivers of leek to the shrimp and beurre blanc (prepared with a splash of the chardonnay) over it.
The acidity and oak flavor kept me from rating it higher than 90; I couln't give it less than 87 because of its other pleasures. After rating it 87-90 I looked up Wine Spectator's rating which was 89 so I was in the same ballpark. I did order two more bottles at the sale price and would like to have ordered half a dozen. For those who like a crisp French Chardonnay with some acidity, this is one that also displays attractive fruit.

- Thomas - 08-20-2001 10:35 AM

wondersofwine, what's with the rating system?

[This message has been edited by foodie (edited 08-20-2001).]

- wondersofwine - 08-20-2001 11:34 AM

I sometimes find it hard to give a precise rating out of 100 so give within a range (85-89 being very good, 90-94 being excellent). In the past I used the UC-Davis rating on a 20-point scale where up to 6 points apply to aroma/bouquet, up to 6 points for taste; up to 2 points for clarity and up to 2 for color; up to 2 for finish; and up to 2 for either body or overall impression. Even with the Davis scale I sometimes end up equivocating by 1/2 to 1 point--i.e. a rating of 16 or 16.5 on this wine, a 17 or 18 on that wine. Maybe I can blame it on being a Libra--I see good points balancing out the negative and so I'm sometimes indecisive in scoring. Will try to be more definitive. In this case the rating of 87-90 indicates a very good to excellent wine!

- Thomas - 08-20-2001 01:29 PM

That's not what I meant. What I meant is: why rate wines with numbers?

I am forced to use numbers when I sit at judgings, but I have yet to see evidence that number ratings mean much relative to quality, and especially to objectivity.

[This message has been edited by foodie (edited 08-20-2001).]

- wondersofwine - 08-20-2001 03:44 PM

Got your point now. And you are probably right. Describing the smell and taste sensations should be enough to let a reader know if it is their type of wine or not. One more justification for a numbers rating--when I am putting together a wine tasting for friends I can consult past notes to see which wines in a category (zinfandel, chardonnay, red burgundies, etc.) were especially appealing to me, and if still available/affordable offer them for the tasting. Maybe I'll continue to use numbers in my own notes but not for the public record.

- Thomas - 08-20-2001 04:35 PM

I like that idea. I use a star system to buy for my shop. If a wine meets the basic requirement, which is to have no glaring flaws and to represent its region or variety, then I rate it for its characteristics and for its price/value ratio. When I later go through my notes anything with three stars is an automatic buy; two stars and a plus sign is next in line; two stars and a minus gets categorized as second string, for those times when I need a decent product and have some extra money lying around--rare time they are; two stars generally aren't in the running, unless customers ask for them.