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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

Saturday, 16 January 2010

1969 Clos de Sainte Catherine, Jean Baumard

It is not that often these days that I get to drink a 1969 Coteaux du Layon and this Clos de Sainte Catherine from Jean Baumard was both a lovely wine and very instructive. As so often tasted blind it would have been very difficult to say that this was a 40 year old wine: the colour was light gold with fresh honeyed flavours and clean, precise minerality. By no means super sweet – perhaps 50-70 gms of residual sugar but difficult to estimate precisely. It would have been a disaster with a dessert but was absolutely perfect with cheese: Roquefort, a Cornish brie and a Swaledale ewes milk cheese. The match with the Swaledale was particularly good.

It was instructive because the 1960s, 1970s and some of the 1980s was generally not a great time for Coteaux du Layon with corners being cut but Jean Baumard's 1969 showed that there were exceptions. In many ways this less sweet style of Layon is more versatile than the super-botrytised, super sweet cuvées, which can be a wonderful vin de contemplation - soit meditation but difficult to match with food.


James Phillips said...

Sounds lovely, Jim. What do Coteaux du Layons generally age like? I.e. the sort of 'end' result, if you will.

Jim's Loire said...

James. As a general rule they become more golden, more honey with sometimes an oxidative character which can depend upon the vintage and the cork, too. An 'end result'? – for some it is difficult to find an end as they age so well.

Wicker Parker said...

Well, count me jealous. I was happy to have found a '69 Prado Enea from Muga for my 40th but would have rather have had this.

I recently had a '96 Huet Moelleux that was phenomenal with an orange-ginger-glazed duck -- would this Sainte Catherine have been a good match with this dish as well, or better to have stuck with cheese?

Jim's Loire said...

Mike. I'm sure the Muga would have been good. I think the 1969 would have gone well with the duck especially if it had a sweetish sauce. This style of sweet Loire is often more versatile than we tend to imagine.