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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by Jenise » Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:15 pm

Bob, wish I could find pinot blancs here. In our small stores that cater to mass appeal, they're pretty scarce
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by David M. Bueker » Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:35 am

Cross post...

2019 Bevan Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dry Stack - USA, California, Sonoma County, Bennett Valley (8/8/2020)
My distaste for Sauvignon Blanc is legend, and this really is not my thing. That being said, it is a very well made wine, but for my palate, an amalgam of flavors that do not combine to a harmonious whole. Fresh straw bedding for a stable (no stable aromas), under ripe tropical notes, fresh mown grass, mint, and a milky/lactic element that seems contrived/out of place. That's all for me. I bet others would find it much more pleasurable. There is objectively nothing wrong with this wine. I...just...hate...Sauvignon...Blanc.
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by Jenise » Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:41 am

I'm a Bevan Dry Stack fan. I'm also a fan of holding them 3-5 years before consuming, finding them a bit, oh, raw I guess, when very young. It all comes together a few years out.
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by David M. Bueker » Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:06 pm

Jenise wrote:I'm a Bevan Dry Stack fan. I'm also a fan of holding them 3-5 years before consuming, finding them a bit, oh, raw I guess, when very young. It all comes together a few years out.


That's nice. My other bottle is going to my parents' house, whenever we can finally visit them again.
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:35 pm

Don`t be so glum David! Maybe some SB notes this month will turn you on :lol: .
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:58 pm

As many know here, I am a big fan of wines from Portugal and have posted various notes over time. The co owner of my fave store downtown is from Portugal so we have a great selection. The whites can be quite varied in style so I have picked out one from Tras-os-Montes which is an appellation in the extreme north east. I am not sure if this wine should have been drunk earlier?

TN: 2015 Valle de Passos Branco, Alto Douro Province.

Diam style cork, $27 Cdn, 13% alc, Lot 01/2015. Voisinho, Codega de Larinho, Malvasia Fino (all white port grapes). Mother and daughter run the winery.
Medium straw color, not a lot of distinct tones on the nose (right glass?) but noted mineral and citrus . "Grapefruit" on day 2 from across the table and "not that floral either".
Dry, v good acidity, initially thought needs time to open up but not much development. Some brief white stonefruit and apple. Showed more mineral tones on day 2 on a very dry finish. Maybe a splash of riesling or gewurtz (both grown in the area) might have aided this one along, grin.
Food was pork casserole with saffron rice.

Mogadouro noted from last year>>

TN: 2017 Mogadouro Branco Tras-os-Montes.

I am always on the look out for new whites from Portugal and this one sure caught my eye!
Remote area, sparse vineyards, north east, granite, high elevation. 13% alc, $26, good quality cork, opened one hour. Grapes..Viosinho and Gouveio.
Greenish yellow tinges, nose has some creamyness, apple, lemon, apricot, "floral" from across the table.
Bright, fresh, mineral, peach, dry, good acidity here soft finish on day 1. Certainly different and of real interest.
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by David M. Bueker » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:22 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Don`t be so glum David! Maybe some SB notes this month will turn you on :lol: .


No!
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by Tim York » Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:23 am

I don't think this one would convince David but it is a good, if not outstanding, example of what the upper Loire basin does with SB. Menetou-Salon is situated to the west of the more famous Sancerre and has the advantage for the consumer of lower prices but AFAIK is not capable of sublimating the grape in the way that, say, the Cotat estates achieve. Henry Pellé is probably the appellation's best known estate and also produces good reds from Pinot Noir.

2018 Domaine Henry Pellé Menetou-Salon Morogues - France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Menetou-Salon (10/08/2020)
This is a bracingly citrus and mineral white with few varietal Sauvignon trademarks like grapefruit and gooseberry, let alone feline urine. In the current heat wave conditions, I may have cooled this too brutally because at first it seemed somewhat dumb but towards the end of the bottle the nose opened up and some underlying roundness and subtlety appeared. Good.
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:58 am

See this one on the shelves quite often Tim.
Gravel and Loam tonite from NZ..with David in mind :) :)
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:04 am

Grass and Gooseberry!!

TN: 2017 Cravel & Loam Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough NZ

Purchased for this Focus, $21 Cdn, SC, attractive label but not sure about the fish!!
Medium straw color with a tinge of green.
Classic nose with bright lively grass and gooseberry..."nice goosegoogs" from across the table. Also noted some herbal nuances and passion fruit. Great zesty acidity, ripeish fruits, melon, peach and apple. Did not take long to polish this SB off..with chicken breast and shrimp.
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by Tim York » Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:11 am

Out of the two main white grapes grown in the Loire valley, Chenin in Anjou and Touraine produces far more wines to my taste than Sauvignon further upstream. They can be dry, demi-sec or sweet and show great complexity of fruit, minerality and other flavours and can age beautifully, although regrettably premox is not unknown. The best dry examples come from Savennières near Angers, from Vouvray and Montlouis near Tours and from Saumur. Savennières tends to be fuller and more alcoholic. Here is a good one -

2016 Château de Chamboureau Savennières - France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Savennières (12/08/2020)
This is delicious youngish Savennières. There is sharp focus and burgeoning minerality but also fragrance, pineapple and quince infused white fruit, beginnings of wax notes and burnished underlying roundness as if a sweeter wine were trying to emerge. Acidity is gently mouth-watering and there is decent backbone. Much Loire Chenin develops fascinating complexity with greater age if the not uncommon premox bullet can be avoided. Very good.
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It is very unusual to see "Blanc" tagged on behind "Chenin" in French usage. I am curious to know why "Blanc" has become a standard addition internationally. I can trace a Chenin Noir, which is an alternative name for the better known Pineau d'Aunis. Are any wines marketed as Chenin Noir? Incidentally an alternative name of Chenin Blanc is Pineau de la Loire
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by Peter May » Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:30 am

Tim York wrote:

It is very unusual to see "Blanc" tagged on behind "Chenin" in French usage. I am curious to know why "Blanc" has become a standard addition internationally.


I too was curious and I asked that very question at wineries when I was in the Loire. The reply was that there was a Chenin Noir - of which I'd never heard of until then.

I don't know about Chenin's usage in French writings.

Regarding wines labelled as Chenin Noir: in the Loire as in most of classical France, the grape variety wasn't named on wine. Wine Grapes says Chenin Noir is is used in California as a synonym of Pineau d'Aunis, (though they are not related) but I've not found any examples.

I agree with you that the blanc suffix is unnecessary
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by David M. Bueker » Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:26 am

2005 François Chidaine Montlouis-sur-Loire Les Bournais - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Montlouis-sur-Loire (8/18/2020)
Very sweet and very honeyed. Feels like it's one step from oxidizing, but it is not there yet. Unfortunately it also has no "life." It just sort of lays there. Decent foil for spicy Indian fare, but nothing more.
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by Rahsaan » Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:43 am

David M. Bueker wrote:2005 François Chidaine Montlouis-sur-Loire Les Bournais - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Montlouis-sur-Loire (8/18/2020)
Very sweet and very honeyed. Feels like it's one step from oxidizing, but it is not there yet. Unfortunately it also has no "life." It just sort of lays there. Decent foil for spicy Indian fare, but nothing more.



That is a long haul for the Bournais. I know some people talk about extended aging, but I've had variable results once it gets past 5-7 years. Of course I haven't systematically tracked every vintage over lots of different aging lengths, but that has been my impression and will let others take the risk!

These days I enjoy the texture and flavors while fairly young and am fine with leaving it at that. Will soon finish my last bottle of 2017.
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by David M. Bueker » Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:09 am

Useful info. Thanks. I have a few 2014s from Chidaine, and will get them in the queue ASAP.
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by Tim York » Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:58 pm

Useful indeed :( . I have a couple of Bournais 2014, which I clearly need to look at soon, and one Vouvray Les Argiles 2005, which is buried under a lot of other bottles and risks being like David's Bournais.
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by David M. Bueker » Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:29 pm

I also have Bournais 2014.
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:28 pm

Checking thru various TNs here on this forum, I find varying comments on Secateurs Chenin Blanc so whilst looking for a nice Saumur Blanc, I came across the 2017 vintage.

TN: 2017 Badenhorst Family wines Chenin Blanc Secateurs, Swartland.

SC, 13% alc, $24 Cdn, Lot 18045-1423.

Medium straw color, good aromatics with floral, apple, kiwi, lime tones. held up well overnight.
Initial entry thought was mineral, light fruit. Peach and lime, nice balance of acidity, apricot on day 2 but no honey. I was not too excited with this vintage..food was pan fried chicken breast and shrimp.

...have a very good Saumur Blanc coming up!
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by Pat G » Thu Aug 20, 2020 2:44 pm

Sandlands Chenin Blanc, Amador County, 2015:

TN based on 2 days of tasting. Yellow gold, excellent clarity. Medium legs. Aromas are fruit dominant: lemon, green apple, apricot, melon. Definite honey, wax/lanolin, ginger, honeysuckle. Hints of slate and granite. By Day 2, ginger, melon, honey, lanolin were gone but pear joined in. On Day 2, finish came to an abrupt ending well before mid-palate. Aromas intense to the extent that palate was a letdown. Overall impression: varietally correct aromas, finish disappointing. At $32 with tax and shipping, QPR is below average.

Interesting wine, but "cult status" pricing. Although one has to learn about such a wine to appreciate the value found elsewhere. So I don't regret the purchase. On to areas like South Africa. Maybe I'll seek out Badenhorst. Have had good wine from that vintner in the past. White & Red.
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by Roberto Vigna » Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:26 am

Rahsaan wrote: That is a long haul for the Bournais. I know some people talk about extended aging, but I've had variable results once it gets past 5-7 years. Of course I haven't systematically tracked every vintage over lots of different aging lengths, but that has been my impression and will let others take the risk!

These days I enjoy the texture and flavors while fairly young and am fine with leaving it at that. Will soon finish my last bottle of 2017.


There are two different Bournais from Chidaine, the normale and the franc de pied, the second of which costs twice as much as the first.
The parcel, 0,2 ha, is really tiny and, curiosly, the ungrafted vines have the same age of the others and they are surviving perfectly.
Yelds are incredible: about 12 hectoliters per hectare!
The wine is much deeper and tighter and has what it takes to ensure a long life in the bottle.
In 2019 I tasted a 2008 bottle and it was stunning, barely off dry and in the prime of its life.
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by Rahsaan » Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:22 am

Roberto Vigna wrote:There are two different Bournais from Chidaine, the normale and the franc de pied, the second of which costs twice as much as the first.


Yes, I've had the franc de pied a few times and it was great. But I don't think I've ever seen it for sale.

I'm also a big fan of the regular Bournais, and have seen it evolve into something nicely harmonious with a bit of age. But from my own experience and what I hear from others, the aging curves have been unpredictable and unreliable in recent years. I don't follow closely enough to know if Chidaine has been changing styles over time. The newer vintages do seem plusher and less energetic, but that could also be a weather issue. I have plenty of other wines to age longer term, so I'm fine to slot these as short/mid-term.
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by David M. Bueker » Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:14 am

I have the 2014 Bournais FdP in the cellar, and will likely open it very soon.
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by Jenise » Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:21 pm

2017 Sebastian Riffault Les Quarterons Sancerre
Unlike anything called Sancerre or Sauvignon Blanc I've ever had starting with the deep yellow color. Exceptionally nutty, floral nose and on the palate, it's noble-rotty, flor-y, super ripe, nectarine-ish and orange rind-y, with a big pineapple finish and all kinds of unexpected things--amazing weight and texture for a dry French wine. Everything about this wine is so damned unusual that at the outset one has to wonder about premature oxidation even while falling head over heels in love with the result. Had at a great restaurant in Nashville last February and ordered six bottles upon my return. Sampling this one last night, am very very glad.
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Re: August Wine Focus: Grapes named Blanc

by ChaimShraga » Fri Aug 21, 2020 4:08 pm

Michel Autran, Vin de France, Les Enfers Tranquilles, 2017

Michel Autran is a former E.R. specialist who turned to winemaking in his 40's. If that wasn't oddball enough, after 5 years in Vouvray he rebelled against what he considered the appellation's low standards of quality and decided to release all his wines under the humble Vin de France label. Thus, this is a actually a Vouvray, ergo Chenin Blanc. The wine takes a while to blow off acetic notes on the nose to show peaches, melons and a mineral strain that initially impresses as chalk before becoming more and more ash-like. The label claims 14% ABV, but the fruit is lively for all that, with a firm mineral backbone and a spicy finish, that pulls back its power in favor of expression. It's quite unique. I've tasted a fair share of Loire Chenins, and I've never drunk anything quite like it. It feels as though someone blended the bone dry intensity of Savenierres with the plump fruit of Vouvray. It's quite captivating, especially the nose, possibly the most interesting white brought in by the local importer. (Aug. 18, 2020)
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