days of Coulée
Nicolas Joly’s Clos de
la Coulée de Serrant is an unusual wine. Unusual as in good,
though. [Pinot Noir from the Hebrides is unusual, but that doesn’t
mean it has any merit.] It’s a dry Chenin Blanc with its own
appellation, from the Savennières region of the Loire, made from
grapes grown biodynamically. One of Joly’s claims is that his wines
improve after opening and can be kept and enjoyed for many days. The
instructions on the label are to serve this wine at 14 degrees
Centrigrade after decanting. I decided to test this extended drinking
window idea. I disciplined myself to just a glass a day, keeping the
2002 vintage of this wine open for six days and writing notes, to
check the wine’s evolution.
Surprisingly, the wine does stay good over the entire
period. It doesn’t just oxidise and die, like most other wines.
Perhaps M. Joly is indeed correct? There aren’t many dry white wines
that taste impressive six days after opening.
de la Coulée de Serrant 2002
This has a sweet and savoury nose, with pears, herbs and Chenin damp
straw notes. It’s quite complex. It smells a bit sweet. The palate
is complex and intense, with an unusual texture: it is a little soft
and flat in the middle but then there’s an acid kick giving it life
and definition. It almost has a cidery character. There’s amazing
length and real separation of flavours. There’s a bit of marmaladey,
citrus sweetness that suggests a bit of botrytis. It’s a wine that
is hard to pin down; it’s continually changing and showing different
facets. Excellent 95 (£40 Corney & Barrow)
A waxy, herby, marmalade nose. The palate is more rounded and savoury,
with quite a thick texture and a dry, herby finish. Really long, with
Sherryish sweet apple and caramel notes on the nose, with hints of
pear. The palate is soft and rich with a disntinctive acid tang.
Savoury and intense, this is a bit more oxidised in character.
Distinctly nutty this evening, with a lifted acid edge and some
sweetness. Lemony fruit. The palate is savoury with a spicy vanilla
richness. Tastes really good tonight with lots of concentration and
high acidity on the spicy finish.
Day 5 No note
Deep yellow/gold colour. It smells like a dry Sauternes, with spicy
apricotty fruit and a nutty, slightly oxidised character. The palate
is dery, with high acidity keeping it fresh and lemony. This carries
the nutty, tangy, herby fruit well. It’s a striking, complex wine
that hasn’t suffered too much from being open six days. A brilliant
match for Parmesan cheese. Much more complex warmed up; don’t serve
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