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.
A custom cuvee created by importer Eric Solomon, the 2015 IGP Cotes Catalanes Novellum is a smokin' value that's made from 100% Chardonnay that spent three months in tank (on Viognier lees) followed by three months in barrel. Tasting like it cost three times the price, it offers lots of orchard fruits, white peach, honeysuckle and a hint of vanilla to go with a medium to full-bodied, crisp, yet still textured and mouth-filling style on the palate. You can't go wrong at the price and this is a terrific wine to enjoy over the coming year or two.