In a nutshell: A delightful white Côte de Beaune Burgundy with real power and freshness.
The lowdown: The Saint-Aubin appellation borders that of the more famous Puligny-Montrachet and from the best producers like Gérard Thomas there's little to tell them apart. The small 'Champ Tirant' vineyard is on the west side of the village and the fruit from here helps make wines that are pleasingly soft while retaining a good crisp acidity. Barrel fermented, 25% new oak is used followed by ten months in cask during which time regular lees stirring adds a good depth of flavour. The resulting wine has ripe citrus and fresh peach aromas while on the palate there's just a touch of caramel richness vanilla creaminess to go with delicate lemon and lime flavours. Beautifully rounded and balanced there's a good persistence of flavour right through to the finish.
When to drink: It's excellent just to drink by itself and also goes fabulously with all manner of seafood.
Gérard Thomas has been quietly running his estate situated in the quaint, tucked away, Côte de Beaune village of Saint-Aubin since 1982. These days his two daughters, Anne-Sophie and Isabelle, who have been working with him for a number of years, represent the fourth generation of the family to be running the estate.
Their vineyard holdings extend to around 12 hectares in the Côte de Beaune appellations of Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet and Saint-Aubin itself. While they do make a very small amount fo red wine in this part of the world Chardonnay is king and it's their whites on which their repuation is based. Not being based in the neaby prestigious communes of Meursault or Puligny-Montrachet might mean that they go a little bit under the radar compared to some other producers. However, without any doubt, they are the equal of many of their better known peers and, for sure, their wines with the Saint-Aubin appellation are extremely good value for money from this part of Burgundy.