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Vin de France 2015, Kharaktêr, Domaine Le Briseau ($42.25, private import, 6 bottles/case)
After abandoning an estate in Vouvray, the late Christian Chaussard met and married Natalie Gaubicher and, with her, set up shop in the Jasnières/Coteaux-du-Loir region, first by founding a small négociant firm (Nana Vins et Cie) and then by acquiring vineyards of their own. The farming is biodynamic and the wine-making tends natural. 100% Chenin Blanc from organically and biodynamically farmed 50-year-old vines in the Jasnières AOC. Manually harvested. The grapes are gently pressed. The juice is clarified by settling and racking. Vinified with indigenous yeasts and bacteria. Malolactic fermentation is allowed. Matured nine months in stainless steel tanks. Lightly filtered. No added anything except a tiny shot of sulphur dioxide at bottling. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: WINO.

Draws-you-in nose of maple réduit*, corn silk, poached quince, “grapefruit,” chalk, linden flowers, a touch of honey and, eventually, “pancake batter.” Very dry. The mouth-filling flavours echo the nose. There’s a certain weightiness to the wine yet it’s fleet on its feet due to the faint spritz, sleek but sustained acidity and flood of minerals. Lovely bitter notes join the fruit on the long, saline finish. Improves with time in the glass so carafing is probably in order. (Buy again? Yes, though not without wishing it were $7-10 cheaper.)

*réduit is maple sap that has been reduced in an evaporator but is only about halfway to maple syrup. It can, among other things, be added to drinks and used as a cooking medium (e.g. Martin Picard’s exquisite lobster poached in réduit). For more information, consult your local sugar shack operator or the Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack Cookbook.

MWG July 13th tasting: flight 3 of 9

Written by carswell

August 23, 2017 at 13:54

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