Chateau d’Epire, Cuvee Speciale, AOC/AOP Savennieres, Maine et Loire, France, 2004
This wine: Viticulture is neither biodynamic or organic, rather according to the principle of minimum intervention. Normally picked in 3 tris, to handle the uneven ripening nature of chenin blanc at this latitude. Fermentation in small stainless steel tanks, then ageing on lees in barrel, with bottling in June following the harvest. Varietal chenin blanc, natural cork closure, 14% abv, Gauntleys, £16.22 (2016)
Consumer tasting note: initially not very fruity, then the complexity opens up, showing mature bottle ageing, with fresh, stewed and dried fruits, honey and roasted nuts. Fresh acidity holds it all together, with a decent length.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity gold, showing tears.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of wax, wet leaves, over-ripe yellow apple, quince, stewed apple, whiff of grapefruit, dried stone fruit, whiffs of honey and anise, roasted hazel nuts and a buttery/toffee nuance.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, medium (+) alcohol, medium (+) body, a smooth texture with a slight grip, medium intensity, with flavours of quince and bruised yellow apple, a hint of pineapple skin, a little nutty and honeyed. A medium (+) length with a clean fresh finish and with a slight bitterness on the end.
Quality: a very good quality wine, acidity in balance with alcohol, harmonious with the flavour intensity. Complex and well-developed from bottle ageing, which promised, but disappointed with flavour intensity and concentration, still a good length, though a limited mid-palate palette as it were.
Readiness for drinking/ageing potential: drink now, not suitable for further ageing – well-developed, a pleasant complex bouquet, but with perhaps little marginal beneficial development to gain.