Nicolas Joly, Clos de la Bergerie, Chateau de la Roches aux Moines, AOC Savennieres – Roche aux Moines, Maine-et-Loire, France, 2010
This wine: organic and biodynamic, 15-30 hl/ha yield (50 hl/ha is authorised) picked over 3-5 passes for optimum ripeness, batches must have been processed separately, then blended; vinified in wood with less than 5% new; *natural cork closure, varietal chenin blanc, 14.5% abv, ex-producer, €37 (10/2016)
* Obviously from a very cold and very damp cellar – the space between the capsule and the cork top was filled with what can only be described as a fruity mould, along with tartrate crystals adhering to the cork underside.
Consumer tasting note: a nose of dried stone fruit and pineapple, edged with dried citrus, honey and toast; deceptively highish alcohol carried by the well concentrated flavours of dried apple and pineapple, along with baked stone fruits and honeyed-low-key toastiness, which carry through to the long length. Decant for an hour or two.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity gold, showing tears.
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of dried cut citrus particularly orange, toasty dried and baked pineapple, touch of smoke, dried stone fruits, baked apple, honey, touch of mango .. and after some time, hazelnuts, ripe quince.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, medium (+) alcohol, full body, medium (+) intensity, a velvety almost oily texture with a very low-key grip from maceration on the skins, with flavours of dried pineapple and apple, baked yellow peach and apricot, dried cut orange, low-key honeyed-toastiness, quince. A long length with a clean dried citrus-pineapple finish.
Quality: very good, a perfect balance of acidity with alcohol and the strong flavour intensity; well concentrated flavours and showing moderate complexity from time in old neutral oak and bottle, with tertiary dried and baked notes. Pans out into a good long flavoursome length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: can drink now, well-developed, a sound structure, should improve over say 2-4 years, and keep for a decade.