Since this was part of a "mystery" case, it seems from TN to be at the end of its life, and I figured it looked like a stable white, I opened the day received against the seller's advice. Pale golden with a touch of rust. It was enjoyable and sometimes interesting. The first night ripe pear, grapefruit, grass, and kaffir lime were noted. Two nights later the 2nd half of the bottle (suctioned, refrigerated) still showed grapefruit and became more quenching and tart and leaned more lemon curd, honeysuckle, jasmine, and honeycomb and hinting at tropical notes and maybe a touch of Rieslingesque petrol. Both nights it had noticeable if not pronounced minerality / wet stone.
More than one year since the last one and now this marks the end of my stash of this most excellent wine. What can I add to the hill of praise already contained in the collection of TNs? Not much other than to say, at this advancing age, the color is more golden, there is a hint of oxidation, the edge is softened but the texture is smooth and the structure sound.
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After tasting hundreds of 2009 wines from around the Loire, Domaine Ricard has risen to the top yet again. From the low to high end, each level offers something for everyone including multidimensional layers of intrigue at the top rung. In 2009, this estate is tough to top.
So, instead of hyperbolic prose, I'm cutting to the chase as the wine below tells its own story – neatly portrayed in a wine glass.
While Ricard’s entire portfolio has merit in 2009, the wine that stands out for me is the 2009 Les Trois Chenes – a powerful and masculine expression of Sauvignon Blanc that rolls and unfurls over the entire palate. Like an echo chamber of Sauvignon without any cactus or Kiwi elements in sight – it is regal and complicated with a presence that lasts on the palate for a full minute. From 50-70yr old vines grown in “calcaire” facing the river Cher, compared to the 2009 Les Petiot (which is a nice, everyday summer example we offered earlier in the year), this is of grand cru exuberance and stature. If it means anything, I asked one of my sommelier friends who lives in Tours for his top five white wines from Touraine of 2009 and this was in his top five, #1 for circa . After tasting it three separate times, I'm not sure I can argue with him (I reserved a full case for my own experimentation). For the under tariff, everyone will find something educational or enlightening about this wine...oh yeah, it tastes darn good as well.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for power, grace, varietal harmony and a special sense of an atypical growing season captured with aplomb.
ONE SHIPMENT ONLY at this price
2009 Domaine Ricard “Les Trois Chenes” (Touraine) - (compare at $16-20 in the US)
FIRST COME FIRST SERVED up to 48/person until we run out
********************* BONUS: Vincent Ricard is a bit of a trickster and he opened his “local” pink wine just to see my reaction. My reaction? Love at first sip. This is Gamay moelleux, with a similar sense of frivolity to yesterday’s rose but intended to complete a meal (or act as a sweet-tinged starter). This wine may be light-hearted but it plays second fiddle to no one. As a Sunday afternoon treat, served ice-cold, it has spatlese-level sweetness and a giddy, skipping-along-the-road-of-life quality that makes it a pure delight. With a light pink color and the extract depth/minerality of 2009 in spades, in the glass the wine appears to be a humble form of rose - in the mouth it explodes with fun-house appeal. If you can imagine a red Touraine of terroir mixed with the sweetness and sap of something like Huet Le Mont Moelleux, it would be this wine - rarely exported out of western Europe. If you’re game to try something unusual that is not the everyday norm, here’s your chance at a laughable price...
EXTREMELY LIMITED – FIRST COME FIRST SERVED up to 6/person until we run out:
2009 Domaine Ricard Gamay Moelleux (rose’) - ********************** To order either of the above: firstname.lastname@example.org
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