Thursday, January 28, 2016

Nicolas Joly Savennières Roche aux Moines Clos de la Bergerie

Nicolas Joly Savennières Roche aux Moines Clos de la Bergerie 2005
Anjou, Loire Valley, France

Words cannot express the joy in my heart when I walked into Astor Wines and Spirits in New York and saw their huge selection of Savennières! This area within the Anjou region, on the north bank of the Loire river, makes some of my favorite wines. Savennières is usually a dry wine with intense concentration and outstanding longevity. Not much wine is made in this region, so it can be difficult to get my hands on a wide variety, even in DC. This one comes from Nicolas Joly's biodynamic holdings in the Savennières-Roche-aux-Moines Appellation within Savennières.

Review: The Clos de la Bergerie is a pretty deep gold color, with savory aromas of dried thyme, mushroom, peach pit, honeycomb, and a bit of orange marmalade. The wine is dry with bright acid and elevated (but integrated) alcohol, and a plush round texture. The palate shows flavors of honey, tea leaves, mushroom, straw, dried thyme, torched orange rind... the list goes on. All together, the wine left me with a pleasantly bitter finish. 

The Clos de la Bergerie is getting up there in age, but I adore the savory notes and amazing complexity of this wine. I don't imagine it the drinking window will be open for many more years, but I'm thrilled I was able to enjoy it.

Food Pairing: Perfect with a cheese plate. The bright acid and slightly earthy, savory character would complement a soft ripened cow or goat's milk cheese. 

Bottom Line: This wine may not be for everyone given the near austere acidity, alcohol, and earthiness. But I was blown away: fantastic concentration, complexity, and balance.

Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: 2005
  • PLACE: Savennières-Roche-aux-Moines AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée)
  • GRAPE: Chenin Blanc
  • BOOZE: 14.5%
  • CELLAR: Drink now through 2017

Where did I get it? Astor Wines and Spirits
What's the damage? Premium

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