Jeb Dunnuck 91
Made from all Chardonnay aged on Viognier lees, the 2018 Chardonnay Novellum reveals a medium gold color as well a rich, textured style. Honeysuckle, white peach, brioche, and spice notes all flow to a rounded, textured, layered beauty that's well worth the going rate. Brought up mostly in stainless steel, with 15 in new French oak, this wine always seems to deliver the goods, and the 2018 is no exception.~J.D.
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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. The project is from the Roussillon, where husband and wife team of Domaine Lafage fame, Jean-Marc and Eliane Lafage, have some Chardonnay planted near the Mediterranean that makes a remarkably complex and mineral version of the variety. A small percentage is aged in barrel – usually less than 30%. 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.