- Clear, medium golden in color. Looks a little oxidized (and smells like it too)!
- Medium Body. Some legs (tears on the glass), so med/med + alcohol.
- Have you ever had Sherry? Not cream sherry... a dry (non-sweet sherry) like a Fino? or Manzanilla? Had a little something like that going on. Not as high in alcohol, but reminded me of Sherry. This is typically when a wine has been "OXIDIZED" (exposed to air). It will get a little more brownish/deeper color, and develop Sherry like aromas. I feel like this is a circuitous way to define OXIDIZATION, since Sherry itself is oxidized. But it is the best example I can think of...
- Some citrus & apples, orchard fruits, but also something figgy, golden raisins, and dried herbs. Maybe spent some time on the lees? (yeast! lees are just the yeast after they've died... and they are yummy - gives it a nutty, saline quality).
This wine was clearly a SOMM or a WINE LOVER'S Wine. Very complex. It still had some fruitiness, but nothing like a new world Sauv Blanc. This was intense. And I loved it.
Based on the above, I narrowed it down to TWO places/grapes in France. I was thinking it could be:
Chardonnay from the JURA, France
I just tasted a Chardonnay from the JURA (WAY Eastern France) that had been aged in a similar way to sherry (with a layer of yeast [voile (veil)] that protects the wine, yet gives it a yeastiness and lets it age oxidatively). Now, it could also have been the Savagnin grape, but it wasn't as "sharp"or spicy as I had remembered it being...
Chenin Blanc from Savennières, the Loire Valley, France
Chenin Blanc, a grape that is now really popular in South Africa, makes some FABULOUS wines there (known locally as STEEN). BUT, we can't forget about its old home in the Loire. It has a few different styles, one of which is just slightly sweet (from Vouvray. Named for the place, Vouvray, it can be demi-sec (semi-sweet), but also made in a dry-style there, too. Just keep an eye out.
One other place Chenin Blanc is the stand-out is Savennières (also in the Loire). Here Chenin Blanc makes a DRY wine, and is slightly oxidatiative. I've had Savennières, a couple of times. My first being at Rouge Tomate, where it just blew my mind. I had only had Chenin from South Africa and Vovray at that point... So for the wine to be so complex, and with that nutty, oxidized quality. WHOA. Just whoa.
After teetering back and forth, my final conclusion was a 2010 Savennieres.
What do YOU think this one is?
Leave comments! Answers to come on FRIDAY.