Saturday, 9 May 2015
2010 Menu Pineau, Franz Saumon – brilliant!
Un Saumon dans la Loire: 2010 Menu Pineau (Vin de France)
Un Saumon dans la Loire is Franz Saumon's quirky name for the négociant side of his business. I hadn't intended to open this excellent bottle of Franz Saumon's 2010 Menu Pineau yesterday. However, the 2005 Marsanne that we had bought years ago from Green & Blue in East Dulwich before it turned to Toast provided to be corked. So this bottle of Menu Pineau was rushed into the freezer at the last moment.
Rather unfortunately Menu Pineau, also known as Arbois Blanc, is a declining variety in Touraine. Curiously it is an allowed variety in Vouvray but not permitted in Montlouis, where Franz has his chai. Presumably this is one of the many quirks of the AC system.
Franz's 2010 was delicious, brilliantly clean and precise – lightly honeyed and quince fruit, a little sweetness with a lovely mineral character and quite austere but ripe acidity in the finish. Without seeing the label I'm sure I couldn't tell it apart from a good Vouvray. The Menu Pineau was a great match with the two superb Dover Soles we had bought from Cranbrook Fishmongers at the Hartley Farm Centre on the western outskirts of Cranbrook. Fortunately I managed not to overcook the soles, which were the best we have eaten for some long time, which is saying something as they can be very good in Lisbon.