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Chenin study (et al.)

Chicago, IL

Tasted June 16, 2019 by acyso with 178 views

Flight 1 (20 notes)

White
2013 Eric Morgat Savennières Fides France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Savennières
90 points
A fairly ripe expression of fruit on the nose, but in the context of the appellation, definitely a little less so. Peachy with a nice bit of honey. Especially good acidity for Savennières, with good balance and even a bit of cut from the acid. I liked this more than the relatively austere 2014.
White
2014 Eric Morgat Savennières Fides France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Savennières
88 points
I preferred the slightly more fleshy and exuberant 2013 to the more lean and mineral character in this wine. Not as much floral and fruit vibrancy on the nose here, with a somewhat austere overall character. Relatively broad on the palate as well, with fairly prominent acidity (especially for the appellation) again.
White
1995 Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Sec France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray
flawed
This bottle was over the hill -- fairly prominent apple juice and oxidized things going on.
White
2011 Richard Leroy Chenin Les Rouliers France, Vin de France
70 points
Others at the table liked/tolerated this far better than I did, but this was horribly reduced. Burnt rubber, weird green aromas, and bitter and acrid on the palate. Perhaps there was some good material here (this seemed to have some pleasant fruit elements and a nice vein of acidity) but there's too much of the bad stuff going on. We hoped more air would fix the issue: it did not.
White
2011 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Blanc Clos des Carmes Brézé France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Saumur
88 points
Mildly reduced here, with a bit of a green pepper thing that I don't particularly care for. The palate is too lean, without the generosity of fruit or anything else to give flesh to a very skeletal high-acid wine. Nice minerality as well, but this goes too far down the acid-freak path without any counterbalance.
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White
2016 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Clos de Guichaux France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Saumur
90 points
I liked this more than the 2011 Clos des Carmes (which was far too high-acid and structural without any flesh to counterbalance it). This bottle, while still having some of the green spicy things is overall a little more balanced with just a hint of sweetness from fruit here. A little more expressive than the last time I tasted this (earlier this year).
White
2012 Charles Joguet Touraine Clos de la Plante Martin France, Loire Valley, Touraine
90 points
This is white wine made in a style that is almost forgotten nowadays given all the hipster stuff that is going on in the Loire. Sappy, ripe, and heady, with some apples (not bruised) and other sweet fruit. A slight hint of spice as well. The palate is broad and full, with a ripeness that is very compelling. It feels heavy, but the acidity is there to balance it out.
White
2012 Veyder-Malberg Grüner Veltliner Weitenberg Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
88 points
Served double blind. Overall a fairly neutral wine, to the point that chardonnay probably wouldn't have been too bad a guess. There is a slight spicy thing going on, and overall I thought it had the weight of an Austrian wine (as it didn't have the thickness of Alsace and it just didn't taste German to me). However, I was working with the thought that this was a fairly neutral riesling, but after the reveal, I suppose I could pick out a little more of the GV white pepper thing on the nose and palate.
White
2004 Domaine des Baumard Savennières Clos du Papillon France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Savennières
88 points
I can sometimes get behind the Baumard wines, but they are generally too heavy and waxy for what I want in chenin. This bottle is no exception to the riper, heavier style, despite some of the fresh green herbal elements on the nose. The palate is at least consistent with the nose in that broad and slightly oily style, but there's a little more alcoholic kick on the finish than I can take.
White
2010 Domaine des Baumard Savennières Trie Spéciale France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Savennières
85 points
Slightly dirty on the nose, though it may be a hint of reduction. This is definitely chenin made in a style that I don't like -- it's far too heavy, waxy, honeyed, and oily without any counterbalancing features. Not to mention that the alcohol here is seriously quite high and you get some serious bitter burn on the back end. Too thick and chunky, and without elegance, for my taste.
White
2007 Nicolas Joly Clos de la Coulée de Serrant France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Savennières-Coulée de Serrant
80 points
Far, far better than the really disgusting bottle of this I had last year, but that bottle was about as enjoyable as hanging out in a dumpster fire, so I guess it's not saying much. I've never understood these wines and I probably never will. The nose here is nice, with a mix of fruit and some generous floral tones. The palate, however, is pointless -- it's just a heaping pile of alcohol and aldehydic matter that sits on the palate and then leaves a bitter finish. Given this is a monopole I don't know if it's the dirt that's terrible or just the winemaking. I hope it's the latter.
Beer
N.V. Grassroots Brother Soigne USA, Vermont
My favourite beverage on the table tonight. Very slightly hoppy, but mostly a nose that shows a very distinct citrus element, as well as other slightly funky things (for some reason I am far more tolerant of this stuff in beer than in wine). The palate has a mild sweet bitter thing from the hops, as well as a lovely helping of acidity and a little funk. This is one of those things where you can choose to pay as much attention to it as you want, and still derive the same net sum of enjoyment out of it. Delicious.
White
2012 Vincent Carême Vouvray Le Peu Morier France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray
90 points
One of my favourite wines on the table tonight, mostly because it is such an honest and simple expression of the grape. The juicy fruit here is really nice, with tart pineapple featuring prominently. The palate has a good balance of fruit, acidity, minerality. In a lineup of so many weird wines, it is super nice to go back to some old-school style.
White
2015 Lise & Bertrand Jousset Montlouis-sur-Loire "Premier Rendez-Vous" France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Montlouis-sur-Loire
88 points
The relatively generous fruit character of the vintage shows, with the fruitiness in this wine lending a hint of sweetness here. Nonetheless, there is good delineation and precision, with a moderate bit of minerality and a good hit of acidity. Not complex, but definitely an expression of chenin unobscured by a producer's heavy hand.
White
2016 Brendan Stater-West Saumur Blanc Les Chapaudaises France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Saumur
88 points
In the context of many of the other wines tonight, this isn't too reduced, but there is definitely a slight stink here. Nonetheless, this is a very nicely balanced wine, with a moderate amount of white fruit and a prominent acid vein as well. Overall, this just feels too young right now, and a little time should round off some rough edges.
White
2015 Domaine du Closel-Château des Vaults Savennières La Jalousie France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Savennières
88 points
There's a smokey tinge on the nose, as well as some ripe stone fruits. Much better raciness and cut than the Baumards, this is a Savennières that boasts some nice acidity to counterbalance the heavier, oily textures. This is probably going to get even better with time, and I'd love to see how something like this ages.
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White
2015 Domaine Fabien Coche Bourgogne Blanc France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc
90 points
Well, the name's got all the right letters... This is a pretty solid bottle of chardonnay, with more acidity and cut than I would have guessed for the vintage. There's just a slight hint of reduction here as well as a smidgen of diacetyl. Pretty good entry level stuff.
White - Sweet/Dessert
1989 François Pinon Vouvray Réserve Passerillée France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray
93 points
Definitely one of my favourites tonight, as it's chenin the way chenin is meant to be done. It's not a heavy wine, though there is a fair bit of sweetness here. In fact, there's a floral and herbal tone here, and with air, more and more stone fruit flavours develop as well. Lovely lightness and elegance here -- this may not have the low alcohol of a German riesling, but it does have the complexity and freshness.
Red
2014 Château du Hureau Saumur-Champigny Fours à Chaux France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Saumur-Champigny
85 points
Slightly dirty and funky at first, but I think it mostly blew off. Fairly straightforward cabernet franc, with a nice crunchy fruit profile and just a mild hint of pyrazines. The fruit here is red, and there's some acidity to give this more lightness.
Fruit/Vegetable Wine
N.V. Superstition Meadery Cabernet Sauvignon Aphrodisia USA, Arizona
Batch 1(?), bottle 49/1200. Very interesting stuff -- it's a lot lighter than I would have expected at least in terms of the weight on the palate. The grape character is prominent here, but there's a slight Welch's thing going on that I don't care for. Nonetheless, this is fairly light and the sweetness seems to be held in check so it's not too cloying. I suspect the grapes give this an added kick of acidity too. Pretty tasty, but I don't think this is something I could drink a lot of in one sitting.
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