A negative review today. They need to happen from time to time, for a fresher perspective on those wines which are really good.
This wine ought to have been. Ca’ del Bosco is a leading producer of Italian wine that I praised here, and their Chardonnay belong to Italy’s finest. But this Chardonnay 2002 is just uninteresting and untasty. It has a funky nose of butterscotch and fudge, more like a flavoured latte than wine, and the malolactic fermentation character continues on the palate. I have nothing against malo Chardonnay but this wine has no fruit or structure to speak of. The acidity is very low, reinforcing the milky suggestion and the wine oxidises within a day of opening. There’s not even much evolved complexity that would add interest.
This wine also teaches an important lesson. An overoaked wine will always be overoaked. Don’t believe those tasters and producers who say oak will ‘integrate’ with time. If it sticks out like a sore thumb at age 2, it will be the same after a decade. It’s especially true of white wines. Without extract and structure, the oak will eventually devour them. It’s not easy, and many aspiring producers in Europe and New World fall into the trap. On the other hand, taste a really good Meursault with the same oak and malo fermentation regime to understand the difference: the Meursault has so much power that it eats up the oak within a few years.
Source of wine: own purchase.