De Moor - Mont de Milieu 2018

We drink a bottle of De Moor Mont de Milieu 2018, which unfortunately did not turn out as planned, but was still interesting enough to write about.

This is going to be a post somewhere between frustration, confusion and astonishment and I must say right away that this will not end up as a wine description for the Mont de Milieu. But let’s start at the beginning. Actually, this bottle was meant to be the conclusion of the small Burgundy series. I really like the wines of Alice and Olivier de Moor as you could read last time. Accordingly, I had a lot of anticipation to have reached up to the top shelf. But this anticipation quickly and very foamy disappeared. Right when uncorking, the Chardonnay started to bubble. And I don’t mean slight residual carbon dioxide that could have been hiding somewhere, no, I mean several centimeters of quite stable foam in the bottle and very persistent bubbling. Something in the bottle decided to start another fermentation. You read about it quite often, but despite having had some bottles with little or no sulfur that have waited here for several years for uncorking, this has never happened to me before. I assume that the wine should hardly contain any residual sugar from the winery. A secondary fermentation of unfermented sugar therefore seems unlikely to me. One possibility would be a delayed malolactic fermentation on the bottle. What exactly happened, I can’t say for lack of experience. But since the wine smells wildly of lactic acid fermentation, that could fit with malo. In any case, the resulting product has little to do with what it originally should have been and so I didn’t want to drink or write about it after the first sniff. The fact that there is still this post is thanks to the inner Swabian. After a very frustrating hour in the glass, pouring it away hurts after all, it slowly starts to get more interesting. And so I decided to start an experiment, give the whole thing a lot of oxygen in a carafe on ice and just see what happens. And this post is something like a small self-help group for the frustrated natural wine drinker.

Every glass on this evening starts the same. Despite carafe and time, the very first impression is wild, unclean and somehow like yogurt. At the same time, every sip is really delicious. This is fresh, has some citrus, a lot of length and juiciness and nothing at all like what it smells like. Here drinking and smelling are really miles apart. This citrus note then develops behind the stinker also in the nose. There is a bit of puffed grain, something nutty and a stony minerality. The unclean yogurt note remains though. And at the end of each glass this is a wine that would make me happy as a white natural and for somehow 15 to 20 euros. Only with what I expected here and very certainly also with what the wine should be, this has likely nothing in common.

And because there was not much to lose, we let a rest start into the second evening. But not much happens there and actually it tastes and smells like it did on the first evening. I think I was pretty lucky that there was still something tasty to drink in the bottle at all. From what you read, this can also be an immediate case for the drain after an unwanted secondary fermentation. Still, I had imagined it differently of course. And so I sit here, left behind with a mix of disappointment and confusion and file this bottle under too expensive experiment. Hopefully it will remain the only one of its kind for a long time.

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