Whenever I drink a lightly (pleasantly!) oaked Chardonnay these days I think of Tom Aikens, a fine restaurant in South West London. I have not been there very often, but single time the sommelier surprised me with an unusual combination of food and wine and also with bringing out my (usually) hidden love for lightly oaked Chardonnay. The wine I have in my glass right now is not a Chardonnay and I am enjoying it at home, without the delight of Tom Aikens' food. Even so, it brings back some good memories. And it is not a Chardonnay, but an Auxerrois. Auxerrois is a relatively unknown and rare grape variety that can be quite similar to Chardonnay and Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc). This Auxerrois is German and comes from the sun-kissed region of Baden; if you doubt German wine, but like French Chardonnay, it could be worth trying.
The colour is a pleasant, yet not very intense straw yellow. The nose is herbal and floral (do not mistake the latter to say that it is intensely fruity, which it ain't), with caramel and some vanilla custard. At moments you can sense some apple and juicy peach, but at best that is just a hint. And then there is a bit of toastiness and bread crust, enhanced by smoky almonds. On the tongue, Thomas Seeger's Auxerrois is surprisingly juicy, yet also aromatic - somewhere along a wood herb and ground pepper taste -, with nutty notes. The wine is quite creamy and has fairly mild acidity, with a medium finish that clearly goes in a spicy direction.
If you like White Burgundy and want a wine that does not feel too heavy, this Auxerrois could be of interest. Instinctively, I thought of roast poultry or food with a creamy sauce, but. It is a good wine no doubt, just lacks that little something (perhaps a bit more depth or more oomph in the finish) to be truly memorable. It has to be noted though that I really like the way Seeger has used oak, as I am usually not too pleased with oaky white wines. Getting that right is a good and rare skill!