13 March 2012

Secrets De Chai, Saumur Blanc, 2010

Chenin Blanc, one of the wine worlds real under dogs. Disregarded by many with out a second thought. Written off without a chance, a bit like the blues was. Why the comparison? Well, I'm listening to the blues right now. And having just knocked in my final year project, a report on working memory and wine, I have stumbled on the multiple effects of music on wine perceptions and if I wanted to pair this wine with music, it'd B.B. King.   

Why? Well, as the meerkat from comparethemeekat.com says "Simples", this is a neglected, ignored yet relaxing, well made wine with plenty to offer and flows best with a relaxed pace allowing it to unveil an unfair dismissal. 

Allow me for but a moment to build the suspense a little further and give a wee bit of background on this wine. Buried in the heart of Loire (My personal favourite French region, however not for its whites, but its reds), the Appellation of Saumur Blanc surround the famous Saumar-Champigny (Loire's Cabernet-Franc capital) is a bit of a paradox in a sense, the red capital of a wine region made famous by it's whites. This grape can all too easily be over looked by the dominating reds of the region, admittedly I even had my heart sink when I caught Saumur only to notice it was not a red, but that was to be proven premature.

Empty's favourite pet hate South Africa probably hasn't helped either too be fair. The infamous wine bar stool fact, that in the aforementioned region, it is both the most planted and uprooted varietal. Not, in light of the evidence a very fair view of the wine that can produce wines ranging from   bubblies to luscious sweeties to bone dry wonders. No small feat. We all need to give this wine some down time and apologise for not  giving it the time it deserves.

Feeling that we ought to avoid South Africa, we're taking our wine from somewhere where it is loved. In this corner of Loire merging from its little tuffeau (The Caves created to harbour these wines in a nice stable and safe environment) our little wine emerges, having spend some months on some light and filtered lees extracting it's aromatic characteristics, ready to woo us all, if you but open your mind.

A nice light wine, with lemon hues. No big surprises there to be honest.

Big question? Have they preserved the big aroma bomb with the lees? Yes. Yes it has. Some how I feel that this should be a blues song, yet, having a distinct lack of B.B. King-ness about me, I will instead attempt to convey them as I always have with words. Initially a very fresh citrus fruit assault  on the nose, it follows up with even more freshness this time via floral notes, opening into a honey suckle. The bed of fruits also broadens with lychees, peach and eventually Melon.

The palate follows up nicely, with honey suckle and lychee taking the fore. Dry and medium body with good acidity that leave the wine feeling fresh, combined with the lemon notes persistent through the wine this leaves for a pleasurably refreshing wine for any time, fitting in a similar category to Riesling. Peach and melon add softness to the palate and the lees add another dimension  with elder-flower. The only failing of the wine is the finish which is unfortunately short to medium. yet as the wine opens the more prevailing notes of nectarine and yellow roses do lift the wine substantially to compensate for this.

A good wine and despite being slightly too over priced to compete with say its main contender Riesling,  it is a really interesting and curious offering. It does prove that there are serious wines being made from Chenin, and that it is worth proper and more thorough investigation. Watch this spot.  

(B) 80

€13.95 (Mill Wine Cellar)

Value (Out of 5):

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