Posts Tagged ‘Anjou’

My wife and I made dinner for some out of town friends.  I didn’t take formal notes on the wines, but here’s what we had.

2008 Washington Hills Riesling Paradise Peak

Appellation: Washington State

Served With: Spinach Salad with Warm Citrus Dressing;  Butternut Squash Soup

Tasting Notes: 100% Reisling.  11% ABV.  Didn’t take formal notes, but this was a very nice wine.  Great fruit, but also food friendly aciditiy and minerality.  Off dry, so non wine folks will like this.  Great match with a spinach salad (spinach, red onion, cranberry, orange, feta) and warm citrus dressing, also great match with butternut squash soup.

Rating: 3/5

Price: $9.99

2008 Noël Bougrier Anjou

Appelation: Anjou-Saumur (Loire Valley)

Served With: Scallops in Butter, Wine, and Sage; Risotto

Tasting Notes: 100% Chenin Blanc.  11% ABV.  Didn’t take formal notes.  This was crisp, great acid, but pretty one dimensional. A versitile food friendly white, but that is in part because there isn’t much going on.

Rating: 2/5

Price: $9.99

2009 Spier Chenin Blanc

Appellation: Western Cape, South Africa

Served With: Scallops, etc.

Tasting Notes: 100% Chenin Blanc.  13.5% ABV.  Didn’t take formal notes.  Very interesting.  Lots of grapefruit, some melon, and an interesting smoke aroma and on the palate.  Nice rich mouthfeel.  Interesting and very good.  Great value.

Rating: 4/5

Price: $7.99

All wines purchased at Beltway Fine Wines


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This past Wednesday In Vino Veritas hosted one of its last tastings of the year.  As a fitting near end to a great year, Phil invited a producer from within the ranks of the association.  Romuald de Pontbriand, Sciences Po student and member of In Vino Veritas, is also part of the family that owns Domaine du Closel, located in the Anjou-Saumur region of the Loire Valley.  Romuald highlighted ten different wines, produced by his family’s domaine.

Domaine du CloselMichèle de Jessey, Romauld’s grandmother, is the General Manager of the domaine.  She is quite accomplished and in fact was the first women president of an AOC in France, presiding over the Savennières appellation in 1990 and 1993.  The Domaine du Closel has 15 hectares of vineyards, plus 7-8 hectares reserved for future plantings.  The domaine specializes in white wines from the Savennières appellation, which is comprised of a total of 130 hectares.  The required grape varietal is chenin blanc, also known locally as Pineau de Loire.  The domaine also produces wines from the Anjou and Anjou-Villages appellations.  Anjou comprises 3,200 hectares and the grape varietals permitted are chenin blanc (minimum 80% in white blends), chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon and pineau d’aunis, also known as chenin noir.  However, the domaine only makes Anjou rouge.  Anjou-Villages is a much more restricted and smaller appellation than Anjou with only 300 hectares of vineyards.  Anjou-Villages is strictly a red wine appellation.  Cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon are the only permitted grape varietals.

Chenin BlancDomaine du Closel owns the following vineyards—Clos du Papillon, Les Caillardières and La Jalousie.  Clos du Papillon’s soil is composed of schist, and is enriched with volcanic rocks, producing elegant dry wines of complexity and lingering fragrance.  Furthermore these wines are known to have good minerality and aromas of smoked roasted almonds, apricots, and white flowers.  They age well, developing notes of beeswax and honey.  Les Caillardières has the same soil composition but in varying proportions, producing an often times off-dry wine with more expressive floral aromas.  Regarding vinification all grapes are manually harvested and in the case of Savennières there is no maceration on the skins.  Anjou and Anjou-Villages receive from 10 to 22 days of maceration on the skins.  Additionally all wine are released approximately one year after harvest and are meant for drinking young.  Although, as I already mentioned, the Clos du Papillon ages rather well and the Anjou-Villages can age for 5 to 6 years.

Here’s what we tasted …

2005 Domaine du Closel “Une Emotion”, Anjou
Blend: cabernet franc
Tasting Notes: Electric purple in the glass.  A fresh nose with cherry, acid, and raspberry cream aromas, followed by secondary notes of leather.  A light-bodied, dry wine with moderate tannins and a refreshing acidity.  There are flavors of dark chocolate and black cherry.  Drink young.
Rating: 12/20
2003 Domaine du Closel, Anjou-Villages2003 Domaine du Closel, Anjou-Villages
Blend: 50% cabernet franc, 50% cabernet sauvignon
Tasting Notes: Dark violet in the glass.  An elegant nose with mineral and violet notes.  More tannic than the prior with bitter acidity and black fruit flavors.  Unbalanced and disjointed.
Rating: 11/20

2007 Domaine du Closel “La Jalousie” Savennières2007 Domaine du Closel “La Jalousie”, Savennières
Blend: chenin blanc
Tasting Notes: Straw yellow in the glass.  A ripe and fleshy nose up front that mellowed out to a crisp minerality and notes of flower and apple.  A medium-bodied, dry wine with a silky and simple structure.  There are flavors of apple and ginger with subtle peach and mineral notes.
Rating: 12/20

2003 Domaine du Closel “Les Caillardières”, Savennières
Blend: chenin blanc
Tasting Notes: Light golden yellow in the glass.  A fresh and complex nose suggestive of brioche and with more floral aromatics than the prior.  There are notes of spice, minerality, white pepper, and pear.  Off dry with balanced acidity, apricot and pear flavors along with a subtlety of canned peaches on the finish.
Rating: 13/20

Domaine du Closel “Les Caillardières” Savennières2004 Domaine du Closel “Les Caillardières”, Savennières
Blend: chenin blanc
Rating: Light golden yellow in the glass.  Good finesse and elegance on the nose with still more floral notes, along with peach and a very subtle green pepperyness.  Still more finesse in the mouth and a sweet acidity, although a dry wine.  There are flavors of apple, grapefruit and apricot and great minerality.
Rating: 14/20 (WS 90)
Price: $21 @ Wine Spectator

2006 Domaine du Closel “Le Clos du Papillon”, Savennières
Blend: chenin blanc
Tasting Notes: Light honey in the glass.  A very mineral nose with great floral notes, along with spice, peach and grass.  Citric and fruity in the mouth with good minerality and a bitterness that lingers from the midpalate through to the finish.  Reminiscent of rubber tire, although not unpleasant.
Rating: 14/20

Domaine du Closel “Le Clos du Papillon” Savennières2004 Domaine du Closel “Le Clos du Papillon”, Savennières
Blend: chenin blanc
Tasting Notes: Light honey in the glass.  A ripe and plump nose with a mild and pleasant funk, and notes of honey, butter and beeswax.  Dry, medium-bodied and good balance in the mouth with peach flavors and a bitter finish.
Rating: 14/20
Price: $26 @ Wine Spectator

2001 Domaine du Closel “Le Clos du Papillon”, Savennières
Blend: chenin blanc
Tasting Notes: Light golden in the glass.  A beautiful and complex nose with strong violets pushing through and notes of tropical fruit, mango, peach, and peppermint.  Light to medium-bodied with good acidity, well-balanced and a silky texture.  There are flavors of peach and violets and a very mild bitterness.
Rating: 16/20 (WS 89)
Price: $19 @ Wine Spectator

2003 Domaine du Closel “Le Clos du Papillon”, Savennières
Blend: chenin blanc
Tasting Notes: Light golden in the glass.  A plump nose with good fragrance and notes of almond, butter, mineral, ginger and graham cracker.  Full-bodied and semi-sweet with a silky texture and a balanced acidity.  Flavors of orange and honey.
Rating: 15/20

2007 Chateau des Vaults, Cremant Rosé
Blend: cabernet sauvignon
Tasting Notes: Strawberry pink with very light copper tones in the glass.  Fizzy and demi-sec with great balance and good acidity.  There’s good minerality, a subtle and pleasant bitterness and flavors of raspberry, strawberry, white peach and maraschino cherries. This wine is a new addition to the Domaine’s selection and only recently made it out of the laboratory.  I’d say the experiments paid off!
Rating: 15/20

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