Zolo Chardonnay 2020
What’s a guy to do after he’s spent 44 vintages making “arguably one of the world’s most revered and most expensive wines”?
Retire! To a beautiful place with gorgeous mountains, stunning sunsets, and enough acreage to roam free. Retire! Of course, in order to pursue his passion of … making wine.
And that is exactly what Jean-Claude Berrouet, chief winemaker of Chateau Petrus, did after 44 vintages there. Let me introduce you to the legendary man and his new estate:
If you think I am speaking in hyperbole, I’m not. Simply check out his Wikipedia page to get the bona fides. Or, take a word from his former boss and owner of Chateau Petrus: “Jean-Claude Berrouet’s contribution has not only been lengthy, but also, immeasurable. With a lifelong passion in poetry as well as wine, his philosophy has been for the wines to express their terroir, always favoring elegance over extraction.”
Poetry in wine. What more could you ask? Well, I suppose you could ask for some actual wine!
When Jean-Claude retired he took up the project of Zolo, in Mendoza, Argentina. There are good reasons for this. First, if you haven’t visited, Argentina is laid-back, gorgeous, and cheap. It’s like Colorado, with Mendoza being a tiny version of Denver, where U.S. greenbacks (or Euros) go a long, long way. Right at this moment of shelter in place, it’s easy to imagine its splendor via this bottle of wine.
Second, Argentina is a great country for growing grapes – old vines, intense sunlight, almost no disease pressure. It’s basically the opposite of France’s marginal climates. And finally, Chardonnay, Argentina’s lead white varietal, tastes and acts like it’s in love. Summing it up – if you love your work, Mendoza is an ideal place to “retire” and keep the love right on flowing.
And what Jean-Claude has made is one of the silkiest, most luxurious tasting, no-oak Chardonnays that I have ever had:
The nose opens with gorgeous notes of pineapple, stone fruit – apricots especially, and guava, and a delicious purity that can’t be denied. There’s nothing to mask the alluring pleasure of wine that’s never seen a barrel. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t hedonistic texture and velvety curves to this beauty – the midpalate is round and soft, there is enough acidity to keep it juicy, and it’s all about the comfort of snuggling down for the night with this scrumptious bottle. The finish is long, with an accent of minerality. Yes, it’s 2020, but Argentina is one vintage ahead, so it’s ready for you, right now.
Passion, poetry, elegance, and one of the world’s most revered wines … but not the most expensive. Enjoy with immense pleasure!