jamie goode's wine blog

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A soul-restoring Montlouis

There is always hope for the world of wine when, amongst the sea of spoofulation and depressing commercial correctness, you get ambitious, talented people investing their time and money in worthy but unfashionable regions such as Montlouis. Stephan Cossais is one such winegrower, and this wine of his isn't perfect, but it is beautiful. It's an amazingly rich, vibrant, life-full expression of Chenin Blanc. You can read more about Cossais at Jim Budd's Loire Blog.

Stéphane Cossais ‘Le Volagré 2006 Montlouis-sur-Loire, Loire, France
13.5% alcohol. Beautifully packaged, and with an amazing good-quality long cork. Deep yellow/gold colour. Rich, mineral, toasty nose with notes of herbs and apples, and a lemony, subtly cidery lift on the nose. Bold, intense palate shows a hint of vanilla and toast (this cuvee, unusually, had 20% new oak) with powerful citrus, herb and mineral notes. A distinctive dry Chenin Blanc with power, richness and intensity. This is a producer to watch. 91/100 (retail c. £19, UK agent Les Caves de Pyrene)

[Note added later: sadly, as Jim points out in the comments below, Stephane Cossias died in July at the awfully young age of 42.]

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Serious Loire Chenin

A new wine for me. It was part of the Les Caves de Pyrene tasting I did on Thursday morning, and I brought the remaining 3/4 of a bottle home to study at length(!). It's a fantastically pure, fresh, intense Chenin of real appeal. It also goes very well with mature Cheddar cheese.

Frantz Saumon ‘Minérale +’ 2007 Montlouis, Loire
From a grower in conversion to organics, working with indigenous yeasts in large and small oak. Intriguing nose shows classic Chenin notes of herbs, apples, lemon and a faint hint of soft cheese. It’s really pure and focused. The palate is pure and minerally with broad, textured herby, appley fruit kept fresh with high acidity. It’s more-or-less dry, fresh, pure and linear, but with a rounded character that presumably is contributed by a bit of residual sugar. A lovely, precise wine with a long future ahead of it. 92/100 (Les Caves de Pyrene in the UK)
Find this wine with wine-searcher.com

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