Domaine des Champs Fleuris, Les Damoiselles, AOC Saumur, Maine et Loire, Pays de la Loire, France, 1999
This wine: lot No. LSB 01 (on front label), varietal chenin blanc, fermented dry; a completely sound coated natural cork closure, 13% abv, Gauntleys, bin end, £5 (05/19)
Consumer tasting note: dry Loire chenin blanc can reach a venerable age, as this 20 year old fully mature example demonstrates. With a sound acid structure, the nose is quite intense, with lots of complexity, ranging from pine and warm wet wool, to honeyed dried stone fruit and pineapple, to roasted nuts and blue cheese; medium-full bodied with a smooth texture, and a palate of dried stone fruit and pineapple, again with hints of nuts and blue cheese. Its lightly nutty style might suit tapas. Finishes long. Drink now –
RTD – Wait. No need to decant.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity gold, showing tears (a 1/4 teaspoon of tartrate crystals).
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of dried pineapple with an edge of sugary confectionery, pine, warm wet wool, indistinct dried stone fruit, a touch honeyed, hint of tinned yellow peach, a hint of steak fat, and after a short while a developing hint of roasted nuttiness, star anise, then an hour or two later blue cheese.
Palate: dry, medium acidity, medium alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth texture with a slight grip, with flavours of yellow peach jam, dried pineapple, honey, a hint of nuttiness, an edge of blue cheese. A long length, with a clean dried stone fruit infused finish.
Quality: very good, perfectly balanced acidity with alcohol, altogether harmonious; showing a better than moderate intensity with similar concentration on a long length; the deep golden hue and sensory profile suggests a wine of significant age, with moderate-high complexity on the nose, less so in mid-palate, nevertheless finishing long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink (up) now, unsuited to further ageing – well balanced, well advanced into its tertiary stage as indicated by the fungal family note of blue cheese, with nowhere to go.