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A tale of two Chenins

with one comment

It was the best of wines, it was a little less than the best of wines.

Jasnières 2009, Prémices, Domaine de Bellivière ($23.95, 11463140)
Jasnières is a small appellation on the Loir river (a tributary once removed of the Loire) about 35 km north of Tours. One of the appellation’s brightest lights, Domaine de Bellivère has been organic since 2005 and biodynamic since 2008, no small feat in such a damp and cool climate. The SAQ wine advisor who informed me of the wine’s arrival said it was a young vines cuvée; Bellivière’s website makes no mention of the vines’ age but rather presents it as an entry-level bottling. 12.5% ABV.
Classic Chenin nose of white fruit (pear, quince, grapefruit, maybe some honeydew melon), chalk and a whiff of honeysuckle. On the palate, the tense balance between the citrusy fruit, faint residual sugar and high acidity might put a blind taster in mind of a kabinett Riesling. But the texture isn’t German – it’s denser and weightier, though in no way ponderous – and there’s that quinine and honey finish. While the wine lacks some of the breadth, depth and length of its upmarket stablemates, it’s far from simple. Plus it has the advantage of being delightfully fresh and totally ready to drink. Hard to imagine a better pairing for shrimp berbère.

Anjou 2009, Chenin Blanc, Pithon-Paillé ($23.85, 10525345)
Another entry-level Chenin from Jo Pithon’s négociant arm. Made at least partially from organically farmed grapes. Fermented with native yeasts. 13% ABV.
Another textbook Chenin nose: pear, lemon, apple, chalk. Clean and bright in the mouth, the sharp acidity balanced by the ripe fruit and ample texture. Minerally finish with a hint of honeyed apples. Dry, pure, refreshing: a fine, straightforward wine if a little overshadowed by the refulgent Prémices.

Both wines have just arrived at the SAQ. Both tend to sell out quickly.

Written by carswell

July 3, 2011 at 12:54

Posted in Tasting notes

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. Love this post. Finally tried them both, though not quite back-to-back. Don’t eat Shrimp Berbère very often so I found the Anjou Chenin was my preferred bottle (since I want it with dinner, and I choose chalk over residual sugar almost every tme).

    weingolb (@weingolb)

    September 1, 2011 at 13:39

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