House of Arras Grand Vintage

What impresses me most about Arras mastermind Ed Carr is that in spite of his clear talent and success, he’s always listening, forever learning, and constantly refining his craft. I’ve found his style a little sweet at times, but this is changing, and his 2005 comes in at a low 7.1g/L of dosage, a gram or two lower than in the past. He’s employing more oak in the liqueur to provide dry tannins that stand in for sugar to balance the palate. His 2005 is a release that impresses me for juxtaposing the lively, focused citrus drive of chardonnay (69%) with the succulent red berries of pinot noir. The result is clean, precise and beautifully pure, quite backward in its development, with subtle toasty, spicy brioche and roast nut development just beginning to materialise. Long lees ageing has built a creamy, softly textural mouth feel and a long finish of impressive acid drive. $55 at My Cellars and Jim Murphy.