Further reports from the big French wine tasting on Wednesday
Domaine le Haut Chesneau, Thésée, AC Touraine
I also tasted their fresh and spicy 2009 Pineau d'Aunis Rosé before tasting, at Charles' urging, the 2008 Malbec d'Exception (£8.75), which is actually a blend of 60% Côt (Malbec) and 40% Cabernet Franc. Although better than the reds I tasted at Vinopolis a year ago, this is still work in progress – still too many green notes, although there is some concentration here. Is it a question of reducing the yields or just picking a little later – making sure you have flavour ripeness?
2009 Montlouis Sec, Domaine de la Rochepinal, Hervé Denis
Imported into the UK by O/Moore & Co Ltd in Dorking, Hervé Denis is not a name I have come acroos before. His website explains that he started in 1989 with just over 2 hectares of rented vines – 1.94 ha of Chenin and 0.38 of Gamay. He now has 15.04 ha that includes I was told 10 ha of Montlouis – the rest is Gamay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. 50% of his production goes to the Montlouis cooperative. 1995 was his first true vintage. The 2009 sec from 80 year old vines is pretty lean at the moment – truly a sec. I expected more character from such old vines but it may be a stage it is going through.
2009 Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine, Château du Coing de St Fiacre
A couple of promising 2009 samples tasted on Withers Agencies Ltd from this fine Muscadet estate. Pointless saying more at the monent as the wines haven't yet been bottled except that I preferred the more vibrant, mineral sample.
2009 Menetou-Salon, Le Prieuré de Saint-Cérols, Pierre Jacolin
Sadly, due to the sucession of hailstorms that hit AC Mentetou-Salon devastating the crop, this is going to be a rare bottle – a lovely combination of grassiness, gooseberry and grapefruit with the weight of 2009. Pierre stays in the same hotel in centre of Angers for the annual Salon de Vins de Loire. I'm impressed by his wines but somehow I don;'t always get to taste them during the Salon. I guess there are just too many exhibitors and you have to learn that you can't taste everything.
However, if you are on road from Bourges to Sancerre and want a stop to taste some good Menetou-Salon before crossing into Sancerre, stop in Saint-Cérols and taste Pierre Jacolin's wines.
Part 3 to follow.
Part 1 here.