Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Novellem Chardonnay

Here’s another of those Top 12 Holiday Wines from Whole Foods Market, which they promoted back in December.  It’s a wine that could serve as well now, with the Groundhog Day festivities out of the way.

The Novellum Chardonnay 2012 is from the southern part of France.  It’s categorized as a Pays d’Oc wine, which I love to hear Americans try to pronounce.  We’ll just say it comes from a Vin de Pays region that roughly corresponds to the geographical area of Languedoc-Roussillon.

This white is produced by Jean Marc and Eliane Lafage for Eric Solomon Selections.  The importer rides under a banner that reads, "Place Over Process,” and their offerings are top-notch.  This one is no exception, and it’s a great value wine, too, at only $11.

The wine is unoaked, but is aged three months on Viognier lees, according to the Solomon website.  This accounts for the generous mouthfeel and somewhat spicy nature of the wine, and also tricked me into thinking there was oak aging involved.  The alcohol level for this custom cuvée is a moderate 13.5% abv.

Novellum sure looks good in the glass, giving off a rich, golden color.  The nose has some fairly big fruit aromas, with apples and pears clearing a path for a touch of honeysuckle and a hint of spice.  The acidity is moderate - certainly enough to consider the wine to be extremely food-friendly.  The palate is loaded with juicy fruit, and minerals play a larger role than on the nose.  It’s a great sipper, but it really belongs on the table.

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