Cellar temperature and that seems about right - it is tart and slightly vinegar upon opening, but it calms down and develops into an enjoyable wine. Panopoly of scents - orange peel, honey, something floral and lemon. It has an 'orange wine' smell, high acidity and citrusy character. Needs air, will see how this comes along over the next few days.
with time - it hangs in there, but the acidity is really intense and there is not much else that the seemingly dessicated mouth can sense.
Honestly as much as I like the wines I'm about ready to boycott the Loire until either the talented growers or the French government does something to make the labels less obtuse. Nothing on the front but a butterfly. Nothing useful on the back except the names of the grower, 13.5% alcohol and oh, the artist who drew the butterfly. Thanks for nothing. I had to guess on the vintage because there's absolutely no indication except LO 10 that could mean anything. But that's ok, I know the label artist is Heidi Kuka.
Alright, at ease, at ease. I really like the wine even if it's labeled Vin de France so who knows what's in it or where it's grown. Turns out the vineyard is somewhere near Blois and the grapes are romarantin and one of my all time favorites, menu-pineau.What??? So I'm going to cut it some slack cause what appellation would ever sanction that unholy marriage?
Darkish gold color. Reveals itself in waves. Initially, the nose is a rich, sweet, orange and citrus explosion, layered with lanolin, almonds, honey and meadow flowers. Very rich flavors roll across the palate in an almost oily texture with a satisfying finish, though perhaps a bit lacking in acidity. This is fun and seemingly as authentic as they come.
This was so much better than the last bottle. Opened a week before and recorked, it clearly benefitted from the slow aeration. Whilst the last bottle was probably equal parts intellectual appreciation and masochistic fascination, this was actually very enjoyable to drink - so much so that Kelvin and I polished off a bottle between us over a pleasant couple of hours. There was still a very funky, leather and barnyard pong when first poured, but it lifted very quickly to reveal a nice nose of dark cherries and blueberries, then brighter strawberry accents, interwoven with briary spice, loamy earth and a little meatiness. A nicely fragrant bouquet; quite reminiscent of a top Cru Beaujolais. In the mouth, the wine was really fresh and juicy, with a slightly tart edge to its bright flavours of cherries and strawberries when drank without food, but quite impeccably balanced when we had something to munch on. It was rather more red-fruited here than on the nose I thought, and there was a little floral note in there somewhere as well. Nice flavours. What I really liked about the wine though was the lovely clarity and purity it had in the midst of a clearly fleshy, substantial midpalate. Plush, sweet tannins and a nice finish then completed the picture. It was not the longest, but felt very full and satisfying, with a good sappiness to go with some very juicy acidity, and then a nice underline of mineral, orange peel and a tiny twist of bittersweet bramble - all promising a nascent complexity. I liked this a lot more this time round. It still needs a lot more time, but I think it will be a very nice wine over the next 6-8 years or so.
80% Menu Pineau, 20% Romorantin This was an interesting comparison with the Puzelat Tesniere which we drunk at the same time. This showed much more depth and elegance with the romorantin nicely complementing the menu. Honey, lime and yellow fruit, slightly smoky and herbal, some funk. Maybe a touch oxidative. Great acidity. Really got better after being left opened for 3 days. Really well done.
TMM Dinner (aka d'Yquem and extras) (Absinthe, Boat Quay): A strange, but fascinating wine made from a blend of Menu Pineau (aka Arbois) and Romorantin. Pretty good too, if you do not mind wines made in a more oxidative style - this was just about pushing that envelope for me. The nose started off pretty attractive, with perfumy white flowers floating around scents of dried limes, sour plums and hints of stone fruit, along with some saline seabreeze and a strong, mineral undercurrent. However, this kept shifting and changing in the glass, slowly taking on a nutty aroma, and then smelling almost oxidative, with a slight sherry-like rancio character. It many things, but certainly not boring. The palate had tons of character too. On the attack when first poured, it wassuper-acidic, with a limey, super-lemon bite to it underpinned by dried fruit peel. The midpalate was a bit gentler, with a sweet, stone-fruited accent that then stretched out into a very saline, oyster-shelly mineral finish. It was really grippy on the backpalate, almost tannic at I thought, with slight spritz to it. With some air, the palate too started taking on some oxidative tones. Quite a fascinating wine, but certainly not an easy one. Go ahead and get a bottle if you are a wine geek / Loire lover / masochist.
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