Tonight's wine is one that restores my vinous soul (to use a figure of speech). It's sweet, which makes it instantly unfashionable. And it's made from Chenin Blanc, a first-rate grape but one that's largely ignored and unappreciated. But this wine, an almost perfect expression of sweet Chenin Blanc, is everything you'd want it to be: balanced, affordable, complex, honest and thrilling.
Domaine Vincent Ogereau Coteaux du Layon Saint Lambert 2004 Loire, France
There's a lovely Chenin funk on the nose of this wine: the sweet, honeyed notes combine with some straw and late-summer meadow aromas together with a bit of cheesy tang. On the palate there's delightful balance between the thick-textured sweet fruit, the tangy acidity and a the subtly savoury bite. It's quite complex and very long. I guess blue cheese would be the ideal food match, but 'm enjoying this with some cave aged Gruyere and a hunk of rather rustic bread I made last night. Very good/excellent 92/100 (Les Caves de Pyrene, trade price is £7.95 which would work out at a retail price of around £13, I'm guessing)