Saturday, December 4, 2010

Domaine Le Briseau Jasnières, Clos des Longues Vignes 2005

This seductively honeyed Chenin is made by Natalie and Christian Chaussard who grow their grapes organically and biodynamically with no chemical additions and use only a tiny amount of sulphur on bottling. I can’t beat this excellent write-up on the domaine by US importer Louis Dressner.

There was nothing to indicate on the bottle that this was a demi-sec style* so we had to abandon plans last night to drink it with smoked salmon and leave it till the end of the meal where it proved a delicious match with some mild crumbly Gorwydd Caerphilly and apple, pear and ginger jelly.

You can buy it for £20 from Bijou Fine Wines and £22 from Kate Thal of Green & Blue who also recommends it with paté and fruit salad. Expensive but worth it.

Incidentally the honeyed character was even more evident today - more like honeysuckle and almonds which suggests the way it’s going to age. It could easily be a Vouvray though in truth it's much better than many Vouvrays on the market.

I really love what natural winemaking does to Chenin. It seems to eliminate the vegetal cabbagey notes you can find with this grape variety altogether.

* According to Doug Wregg of Les Caves de Pyrène which imports this wine the richness is due to the very warm 2005 vintage. He also tells me that the Chaussards have sadly discontinued the cuvée in favour of a single Jasnières called Kharakter and a Coteaux du Loir Blanc Le Briseau (and three reds).

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