“This is one of the best days of my life”, proclaimed my nan last summer while we visited Château Canet’s property in the Minervois. And doubtless did sitting by the estate’s pool to take relief from the 38-degree heat, whilst enjoying their Domaine d’O chardonnay, do much to fuel her euphoria!
Fast forward to the present, and as I sit in my Suffolk garden (in 28 degree heat, on Saturday) enjoying the new, 2022 vintage of the chardonnay, I am just as content.
For me, chardonnay is the greatest of white varietals and gives me more drinking pleasure than any other white wine. However, owing to continual price rises, the wines from those famous villages in Burgundy are increasingly becoming ‘special occasion’ wines chez moi. Nevertheless, with Domaine d’O, I don’t feel like I’m missing out. Why? Because, as with the great chardonnays of Burgundy, straight from pulling the cork there is an initial hint of lemon before classic chardonnay stone and tropical fruit characteristics arrive: peach, apricot, and a hint of honeydew melon. There is a wonderful creaminess on the palate, excellent minerality, and a subtle hint of oak. Almost Burgundian, one might say.
It must be all those years that Floris spent working in Bourgogne, the birthplace of chardonnay. In fact, the Domaine d’O range is named after his son, Oliver, who grew up amongst the vineyards of Burgundy before the family moved to the Languedoc. By planting chardonnay and pinot noir (see below) in Languedoc’s Limoux AOC, Floris creates wines that reflect Oliver’s Burgundian roots and Languedocian upbringing.
Burgundy, of course, has another famous grape: pinot noir. Here, the 2021 vintage has an attractive, luminous ruby colour with freshness and balance on the palate. Round, light tannins that frame plentiful expressive strawberry and raspberry fruit and sweet spices. This wine pairs wonderfully with many dishes but my nirvana is serving it alongside seared tuna - perfect bedfellows.
And new to Mr.Wheeler this month is the Domaine d’O Blanquette de Limoux. When we tried this in the office a few months ago it instantly put a smile on all our faces. Refreshing green fruit works in harmony with floral, honeyed aromas which are all gracefully held together by the smoothest of mousses. 1 bottle, 3 friends, 10 minutes.
Needless to say, these wines will be my side for many more lunches and dinners because at these prices, I will definitely share them with friends.
James Ayers, Purchasing Manager