Today, I had planned to continue with my travel through the Dordogne Valley but an exciting event occurred yesterday: the latest edition of the Fort Bend Focus came out! Why is that such a big deal? Well, I am now the regular wine columnist for the e-zine and well, I guess that is something to celebrate?
Anyway, I would love to hear what you think about the article, which can be found HERE (or by clicking on the screenshot below (below the screen shot I have included the full tasting notes of the wines just for grins as I am limited for space in the FBF):
2021 Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Les Baronnes, France: Retail $30. Under screw cap. 100% Sauvignon Blanc. I have only been to Sancerre once (and am dying to go back) and one of the few winery stops I made was at Henri Bourgeois. Whoa. The wines, of course, were off the charts, but so was the hospitality and, of course, the town itself. Perched upon a hill, the town towers over the vineyards as it seemingly surveys all festivities below. I am far from an expert on Sancerre (as it is generally out of my price range), but this combination of fruit (citrus and Asian pear), minerality (can you taste the chalkiness? Hell, yes), and racy acidity take me back to the all-to-brief visit to the queen of Sauvignon–and I need to get back. Outstanding. 93 Points.
2021 Domaine du Salvard Cheverny Delaille, France: Retail $22. Heavy bottle. 55% Pinot Noir, 43% Gamay, 2% Côt. While it is fairly rare (outside of the sparkling wine realm) to find Pinot Noir blended with anything I trust any wine that Kermit Lynch imports. 100%. Point final. Having said that, a Pinot from the Loire is not what a Cali Pinot fan would expect; it’s reserved, mineral, and austere. Instead of the fruit at the forefront as with most New World expressions of the variety, here, the mineral aspect and the tartness both take the forefront before the fruit. And if you can accept that? It is close to a whoa. Tart, “dirty” cherry dominates (I am guessing there might be some whole cluster here?), but the balance is fantastic and paired with some food? This is close to otherworldly. Thank you (again), Mr. Lynch. Excellent. 92 Points.
2019 Domaine Pichot Vouvray Domaine Le Peu de la Moriette, France: Retail $20. 100% Chenin Blanc. Demi-Sec (21-24 grams of sugar per liter). A classic wine from a noted producer, this is, in many ways the essence of Vouvray. Racy and fruity, but also a bit sweet, this has been the essence of Vouvray for decades. While there are more “modern” wines that have moved away from the traditional demi-sec style, this beauty from Domaine Pichot embraces it. The key to balancing the sweetness, of course, is a zingy acidity, and this wine has it in spades. Along with tree fruit a go-go (apple and pear in particular) and a nice dose of chalky minerality, this is a near perfectly balanced wine and the sweetness, although noticeable, is not even slightly out of place. Excellent. 91 Points.
2017 Couly-Dutheil Chinon La Baronnie Madeleine, France: Retail $22. Heavy bottle. 100% Cabernet Franc. On a recent trip to the Loire Valley, I stopped in at Couly-Dutheil for a quick tasting with my lovely wife. Three hours later, I walked out with several purchased bottles and this wine, which they offered up as a gift. Whoa Nellie. I believe it was only 10€ or so at the winery, but boy does it punch well above that weight. I have long been a fan of C-D but I far too often overlook this essentially entry-level Cab Franc and focus almost exclusively on the Clos de l’Echo, one of my favorite reds regardless of region. Dumb move as this wine is spectacular, particularly after some time open. Dark in the glass in both color and aroma, it is loaded with plum, blackberry, and a whole rack of spices. There is a hint of greenness here, too, but not bell pepper but rather sage and thyme–wonderful. The palate is luxurious with a bushel of fruit, followed by balancing acidity and just a soupçon (sorry, I had to) of tannic grip on the lengthy finish. No more overlooking this wine, I promise. Whoa. Outstanding. 93 Points.
NV De Valloie Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé, France: Retail $17. 100% Cabernet-Franc. This is from the Saumur-Champigny region of the Loire Valley, and it is a fantastic wine. Pale to medium pink in the glass with oodles of red raspberry on the nose and palate. The fruit dominates initially, but then the tartness comes in on the mid-palate, as does a slight level of sweetness (this is labeled as a Brut, but I would imagine that it is on the upper end of that scale). I have said many times that the Crémants from the Loire are among the best in the country and this wine certainly underscores that assertion. Excellent. 91 Points.