Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Expensive Wine Week Continues: Carte Blanche Whites

Carte Blanche is the brain child of Dillon family (of Chateau Haut-Brion fame) descendant Nick Allen.  Whether his move to establish a high-end winery during the Great Recession is foolish or genius, you can't argue its audaciousness.  But with production as low as it is, Mr. Allen is making all the right moves: quality first.

Recruiting the venerable talents of veteran winemaker Luc Morlet and being extremely discriminating in his sourcing, these wines are destined to be collectors items.

Two reds (to be covered in an upcoming article) and two whites arrived as press samples.  Without even opening them, these bottles are beautiful objects.  (Santa Claus, are you listening?)

Today, we review the two whites, a Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and an Alexander Valley Bordeaux Blanc blend.

2009 Carte Blanche Chardonnay Sonoma Coast$75
This is the drink of kings.  Golden hued and as aromatic as any red wine, there is no mistaking this Chardonnay's greatness.  Rich, powerful, and unapologetically Californian, it represents the very best of what this grape can do beyond Burgundy.  Concentrated and focused, yet replete with layered and delicate acid framing, you;ll be hard pressed not to swoon over this elegant beast.  Likely the best Chardonnay I've had in three-plus years.  Sensational!

2010 Carte Blanche Proprietary White Blend $55
Mr. Allen's cousins in Bordeaux should be jealous.  Even more stirring than this wine's supple balance is its flawless texture.  Everything about this wine works like a quiet Swiss watch.  Elegant, gracious, and complex - but not challenging.  Supremely agreeable and impossible to put down. This Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon achieves real heights without letting anything slip.


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