Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Two 2002 Loire Chenins
What a great Loire Valley vintage - 2002. They have been some of my favorite Loire wines - ripe fruit, not '05 ripe but ripe enough for me, with edgy acidity and the distinctive minerality of the various Loire appellations. Last night I re-visited a couple of dry Chenin Blanc wines, one from Saumur and the other a Vouvray. Both had spent several days opened up and hanging out in the fridge.
Chateau Tour Grise Saumur Blanc 2002 -
Beautiful nose, that really improved dramatically from when it was first opened. Persimmons, orange marmelade, and red apples. Full-bodied and very dry flavors, with decent fruit intensity and a hint of white flowers. Once again, very dry, heavy-weight Chenin. A bit atypical on the palate, the nose says Loire Chenin but the palate might suggest something else. Interesting wine.
Domaine de la Fontainerie Vouvray Sec Cuvee 'C' 2002 -
Fresh orange blossom honey and a bit of chai spice on the nose. This one smells, and tastes, a bit sweeter, though it is still a sec style (and labeled as such). Perhaps 'sec tendre' would be a more appropriate description. Unfortunately this wine was slightly corked, though it did not show so much on the palate. Underneath the cork taint is a wonderful wine, with a deft balance of sweetness, acidity and chewy Vouvray minerality.
As good as Loire Chenin is, it happens to be very prone to cork taint. Oh well - I am more than happy to live with occasionally corked bottles, given the amazingly high quality and consistent value these wines offer.