The place for all things wine, focused on serious wine discussions.

WTN: A Trio of Chenins

Moderators: Jenise, Robin Garr, David M. Bueker

no avatar
User

John S

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

761

Joined

Thu Jun 22, 2006 3:12 am

Location

British Columbia

WTN: A Trio of Chenins

by John S » Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:29 pm

I was rummaging through the cellar (more of a closet in my case), and grabbed a few wines I thought I might have waited too long for. Many of them were chenins from the old country, and were at or close to the entry level for each producer. I was worried they might be past it, but I was pleased to see that none were on their death bed yet. I love chenins from the Loire (and elsewhere, but especially there) and love how they age, so I'm probably a little biased, but my wife certainly shared my enthusiasm with these wines as well. There were two happy results from this exercise: first, I think I don't have to be as worried about opening these type of wines, and second, my passive cellar seems to be doing fine. Good news on both counts!

These wines were all similar in profile and quality, with the Joly being the best of the lot. They are hit and miss at the best of times, but the old school Joly wines are so unusual, so indescribably mineral rather than fruit based wines, that their true uniqueness is incredible. But they are very much a love/hate producer, although I hear the recent wines, now made by Joly's daughter I believe, are less 'extreme' wines. I guess that is a good thing?

  • 2002 Nicolas Joly Savennières Le Petit Clos - France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Savennières (2018-06-23)
    Apart from the usual fears with chenins about oxidation, I was worried this was a little over the hill. Both worries were not an issue with this bottle. A fascinating, intriguing wine which is very hard to describe. The normal fruit or floral notes just do not fit with this wine: it was more a stoney impression. Powerful in the mouth, with concentrated, minerally, nutty flavours and a long finish. On day 2 it became a little oxidized. But I'd drink 'em if you got 'em. (A-)
  • 2005 Château Gaudrelle Vouvray - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray (2018-06-16)
    I held on to this to see what some age would do. Or maybe I just lost it in the cellar.. at any rate, it was time to drink up. Light golden in colour. Lovely nose of rotten fruit, pear and funky nectarines. The medium bodied, slightly off dry palate is slightly oily and viscous, with the same funky rotten, nutty fruit (in a good way), wool, butterscotch, oats and a chalky note. This has definitely changed with age - has it improved? I think so, if you like the aged, nutty flavours on display, which I do. It still clearly speaks of its variety and still has the acidity to match the rich flavours. Quite impressive for a 13 year old entry level Vouvray, but I wouldn't wait too much longer. (A-)
  • 2005 Champalou Vouvray Le Clos du Portail - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray (2018-06-13)
    Maybe I left this a little long in the cellar. Some oxidation here, but also lovely quince, pine and smoky nectarine notes and still some oak notes too. There’s a plush, smooth texture to the slightly off-dry wine as well. I quite liked this, but I’m OK with a little oxidation. But drink up now if you still have some. Edited to note this improved on the second night, and, strangely, the oxidative notes had decreased, which should not happen... (A-)
Posted from CellarTracker
User avatar
User

Bob Parsons Alberta

Rank

aka Doris

Posts

10045

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: WTN: A Trio of Chenins

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:45 pm

Good for you John, you grabbed my attention! I only seem to age Huet which is readily available in my area.
no avatar
User

Rahsaan

Rank

Wild and Crazy Guy

Posts

7994

Joined

Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:20 pm

Location

Chapel Hill, NC

Re: WTN: A Trio of Chenins

by Rahsaan » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:44 am

Thanks for these notes. Very inspiring. Aged chenin can be so lovely. And I have not heard (or thought) about Champalou in a while.

And the point about oxidation is interesting, and of course still not fully understood. It is of course intuitive that an oxidized wine should not improve with air. But then there are all sorts of debates about the extent to which chenin takes on notes that are similar to oxidation (but perhaps not the same, and therefore may behave differently) as it goes through various aging stages. I am far from an expert on the chemistry, but it can be difficult to know how to deal with it (in terms of opening bottles, aging bottles, etc).
no avatar
User

John S

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

761

Joined

Thu Jun 22, 2006 3:12 am

Location

British Columbia

Re: WTN: A Trio of Chenins

by John S » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:48 pm

Yes, Loire chenins are a bit of a minefield in terms of knowing when to open and whether they are truly oxidized or in the weird funk they seem to get into sometimes. That's probably one reason why they aren't very popular, relatively speaking...
User avatar
User

Bob Parsons Alberta

Rank

aka Doris

Posts

10045

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: WTN: A Trio of Chenins

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:32 am

Good thread. I have good access to Champolou up here in AB. Quite a fan of their sparkling Vouvray, no-one seems to buy it which is a pity. Hand sell works!!
User avatar
User

Bill Spohn

Rank

He put the 'bar' in 'barrister'

Posts

6061

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:31 pm

Location

Vancouver BC

Re: WTN: A Trio of Chenins

by Bill Spohn » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:42 pm

You persuade me that I should get into y remaining 1990s era Savennieres!

Am familiar with all the wines you reviewed - good showings!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 3 guests

Powered by phpBB ® | phpBB3 Style by KomiDesign