Someone once made an unflattering comparison between Chardonnay and a part of one's anatomy best left unmentioned, saying, "everyone's got one, no one wants to hear about yours." Sadly Chardonnay is a victim of its own success and frequently a punch line despite being one of the most highly esteemed wines in its guise of Grand Cru Chablis or Montrachet. We are not claiming that Novellum is like these auspicious wines but we will argue that for its price you can hardly find better. For many years we worked with a cooperative in the Languedoc to make Novellum from a special site that in most years had some botrytis, giving the wine weight without resorting to oak. Since that time we've moved the project to the Roussillon where Jean-Marc and Eliane Lafage have some Chardonnay planted near the Mediterranean that makes a remarkably complex and mineral version of the variety. There is no botrytis here so we resort to a small percentage in barrel - usually less than 20%. The remainder of the wine is aged in tank on the lees of Viognier. It remains one of the best values in Chardonnay that you can find.
Wine AdvocateA sensational wine that will compete with wines five times the price, the 2016 Novellum Chardonnay is the real deal and actually reminded me of a Chardonnay from Mark Aubert in California's Sonoma County. White peach, crushed rocks, spice and brioche notes all emerge from this medium to full-bodied Chardonnay that has depth, layered texture and length. Buy it.