Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Savennières tasting (27.3.13): the wines I picked out

On Wednesday 27th March I tasted 47 Savennières ranging from 2011 to 2007, although the vast majority came from the 2011 and 2010 vintages. I tasted the wines blind at Domaine du Closel where Evelyne de Pontbriand (président of the Syndicat) had kindly organised the tasting for me. Here are the wines that most impressed me, ordered by vintage.  

2011 Vintage
Almost all the 2011s tasted would benefit from more time in bottle. If served now best decanted.

The most impressive wines: 

Le Hu Boyau, Château d'Epiré, Luc Bizard 
Good weight, power and length, citric with a touch of austerity in the finish

Also the Epiré Cuvée Speciale - described by Luc as his ideal notion of a Savennières, although I preferred Le Hu Boyau.

La Croix Picot, Domaine de la Bergerie, Yves Guégniard
Richer and fuller style to Epiré with good length. La Croix Picot is vinified in stainless steel, while the Clos le Grand Beaupréau, which I tasted next, is vinfied in wood. The 2011 Grand Beaupréau showed its potential but it needs time (probably one or two years) for the wood to marry with the fruit and for it to show its best. 

Clos du Papillon, Domaine des Forges, Stéphane Branchereau 
Vibrantly clean, attractive weight, long, well made, a touch tight in the finish – needs more time.

I also noted Domaine des Deux Vallées, Philippe and René Socheleau.

2010 Vintage
Overall impression: considerable variation in styles and quality. many would benefit from further bottle age. If drunk now best put into a carafe before serving.     

The most impressive wines:
Bel Ouvrage, Damien Laureau
Some honey on nose and palate, generous concentration of fruit and good length. 

Clos du Papillon, Domaine du Closel
Light gold, beeswax aromas, quite rich fruit, well balanced with lovely clean acidity. Could be drunk now but tight in the finish and would benefit from further time in bottle. 

L'Enclos, Eric Morgat
Floral and honey aromas, lovely ripe fruit in a good counterpoint with a quite austere finish though the fruit runs on through. Potential to age well.

Le Clos, Château de Plaisance  
Ripe honeyed style, good concentration but still quite tight in the long finish. 

I also noted La Croix Picot, Domaine de la Bergerie, Yves Guégniard; Clos des Perrières, Château Soucherie; two cuvées of Loïc Mahé – Equilibre and Les Fougeraies; Schistes, Pithon-Paillé

2009 Vintage
There were four wines from this ripe vintage. The wines, however, showed good balance.   

The most impressive wine:
Patrick Baudouin
Seamlessly balanced wine with floral and honeyed notes. Although Patrick has now planted vines in Savennières with the first vintage due this year, his impressive 2009 is made from bought-in grapes from three different parcels that are cultivated organically.

I also noted:
Clos la Royaute, Vignobles Laffourcade 

2008 vintage
There were two wines from this vintage.

The most impressive wine:
Clos du Papillon, Domaine de Closel 
Honey and beeswax, some rich fruit but not a heavyweight rather delicacy and finesse. 

I also noted:
La Croix Picot, Château de Bellevue  

2007 vintage
There were two wines from this vintage.
The most impressive wine:
Château de Chamboreau, Domaine FL
This was one of my favourite wines in the tasting – harmonious with delicate honeyed flavours and showing some evolution. The wine's initial richness is attractively balanced by a fine, austere finish. Demonstrates the benefit of giving Savennières time in bottle. 

My thanks again to Evelyne de Pontbriand for organising this tasting and to all the producers who kindly submitted samples.

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