Sunday, March 27, 2011

Goutte d'O

One of the grape varieties that I think responds best to natural winemaking is Chenin Blanc and here is yet another dry Chenin from the Loire (Anjou), described simply as a 'vin artisanal'

It's not as fine as the Chenins I've tasted recently from Frantz Saumon or the late Stephane Cossais but it's an appealing wine with pronounced appley (but not cidery) aromas, and a beguiling touch of quince and honey. Quite similar to the flavours you get from an aged Chablis, in fact. (It doesn't contain any sulphur).

You can read about the winemaker Sylvain Martinez on my colleague Jim Budd's blog here and here. It's stocked in the UK - almost inevitably - by Caves de Pyrène.

I'm still mulling over a way to categorise wines, favouring a simple three tier 'traffic light' division into green, amber and red. Green being virtually indistinguishable from a conventional wine, amber being a little more challenging and red really only for natural wine aficionados. I'd class this as an amber!


  1. Smashing idea, your colour code.
    But, what’s an ... afflictionado?

  2. Hello Fiona, I was interested to hear The Food Program cover this topic, especially as a Loire lover. You don't happen to know the location/name of the wine bar "in a small village in the Loire" that Sheila Dillon mentioned? I'll be there in a couple of weeks and dying to learn (and taste!) more. Thanks for any guidance you may have.

  3. A fan, Luc. But I'm sure you know that and are just teasing me . . .

    And will see if I can find out which wine bar Sheila was talking about, Deidre. You might also mail Jim Budd through his blog Jim's Loire (see right) as I'm sure he could make some recommendations

  4. “ Teaser, you know you are a teaser
    Well can you put your hands in your head, oh no!
    I said teaser, you're nothing but a teaser ...”
    Always went (super)tramping up and down the spelling and never quite knew the difference between “aficion” and affliction. Thank you, Fiona, for putting things back to their place. The sum of my ignorance AMOUNTS to breathtakingly high figures, therefore I deserve the tawny colour code: the one for “amontillados” !

  5. You are all so lucky to have so many natural Wine things going on, both in and out of London!!! Here in Madrid, there is now not a single Natural Wine bar open, (sinse La Cave du petit closed in December). You wouldn't know a natural-wine-loving entreprenneur, who could come and open a bar in Madrid, would you? :)