Talented winemaker (and our longtime friend) Mark Hoddy loves to venture off the beaten track in search of unique, carefully tended vineyards. While exploring the countryside of southern France, he discovered one of these special sites, and it’s from there that he hand-selected the fruit for this luscious Chardonnay.
Tucked away on a rugged hillside, the vineyard boasts ideal growing conditions – especially in a great vintage like 2017. The high elevation keeps grapes fresh, while sun-reflecting granite rocks (nicknamed ‘golden stones,’ or cailloux dorés) help them ripen to perfection. Back at the pioneering Le Chai au Quai estate – “a fabulous venture,” writes Decanter – Mark aged the Chardonnay in fine oak to impart hints of honey and vanilla-spice to the deliciously ripe flavors.
Les Cailloux Dorés displays fresh floral, mineral, and melon aromas, followed by a sleek palate of elegant citrus fruit, vibrant acidity, and a long, honeyed finish. An excellent partner for French dishes such as blanquette de veau [veal in a cream sauce], or simply enjoy on its own served as an aperitif.
2017 is one of France’s smallest harvests in decades, so you’ll have to hurry for your taste of this small-batch Chardonnay.