2019 Domaine du Pelican Arbois Chardonnay en Barbi
They have been farming this En Barbi parcel since 2012. It is a south-facing plot, sheltered from the winds due to its location at the end of an amphitheatre of hills around it. Its southerly exposure accounts for its early and complete maturation at harvest time. The soil is silty clay over grey marls, resulting in excellent drainage and low risk of hydric stress. En Barbi was replanted by the previous farmer and the vines are approximately 15 years old. For several years, they have been vinifying En Barbi separately from the other Chardonnay plots. In 2016, they decided to bottle approximately 300 magnums of En Barbi Chardonnay. From 2018 they released En Barbi Chardonnay worldwide in bottles and magnums. In 2019, because of the low yields, ageing was in 350-litre and 500-litre barrels only.
This smells rather different from the Grand Curoulet Chardonnay, still salty but now also more creamy. Ripe citrus and a light floral note is deceptively soft and gentle, with just a hint of oak spice but minerally spice too, like crushed rocks. On the palate, this is a little more rounded than the Grand Curoulet Chardonnay, filling the mouth with a lovely combination of roundness and stony freshness and spice. Incredibly fresh on the finish, as if the cloak of richness were pulled back at the end to reveal the spine. Very long. Magnificently building and persisting in the mouth. Powerful and elegant. Drink 2022 - 2032.
Julia Harding MW - jancisrobinson.com