Domaine Huet Clos du Bourg Demi-Sec Vouvray 2001

By , 17 February 2014

Benchmark stuff.

Benchmark stuff.

Wouldn’t it be great if Nando’s or Ocean Basket sponsored an annual Chenin Blanc Challenge – the best examples served in casual dining restaurants across the land?

Yesterday a blind tasting of 11 local examples interspersed with four French wines (an informal affair conducted among friends) and once again I was left feeling that while top-end Chenin is deeply rewarding, it’s not nearly as obvious as some (and hence why putting it before the punter rather than expecting him to seek it out would only be good for its fortunes).

Domaine Huet Clos du Bourg Demi-Sec Vouvray 2001
Wonderfully complex with notes of citrus, peach and apricot plus an intriguing leesy note. Layers and layers of flavour, plenty of zip and excellent length. A divisive wine – some tasters found it excessively “funky”.

Beaumont Hope Marguerite 2009
Rich and full but really well composed – white and yellow peach upfront offset by a great line of acidity and the finish is long and savoury.

Beaumont Hope Marguerite 2012
White and yellow peach plus a leesy quality providing added interest.  Relatively lean with lovely acidity, the overall impression savoury rather than sweet.

Ken Forrester 2006
Very leesy and thick textured but also lime, lemon and white peach. Still very much intact, snappy acidity lending shape and form.

Domaine Vincent Câreme Vouvray Sec 2012
Pronounced honeysuckle perfume on the nose. Good concentration and bright acidity – citrus, peach plus a subtle yeasty note.

Moulin Touchais Coteaux du Layon 1982
Evolved but plenty of interest – red toffee apple, honey, mushroom, wet earth. Rich and full but balanced by gentle acidity. Soft and comforting.

Stellenrust 48 Barrel Fermented 2012
Pronounced leesy character but also lemon on the nose and palate. Rich and thick textured with coated acidity.

Thierry Germain Domaine des Roche Neuve L’Insolite Saumur 2012
Bruised apple, yellow peach, biscuit and spice. Rich and full with soft acidity.

Stellenrust 46 Barrel Fermented 2010
Complex nose showing lime, peach, mushroom and some burnt matchstick. Palate not quite as convincing appearing slightly dilute, short of detail.

Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve 2012
Shy nose but the palate shows purity and focus – white and yellow peach, a touch of spice and bright acidity.

Stellenrust 47 Barrel Fermented 2011
Appears developed – deep in colour and possessing rancio notes alongside yellow fruit. Rich and full balanced by tangy acidity.

Beaumont Hope Marguerite 2011
Rich and ripe appearing sweet on entry with soft acidity. Relatively lacking in detail.

Ken Forrester 2000
Primary fruit has been replaced by honey and hard-to-describe savoury notes. Acidity appears quite hard.

Ken Forrester 2004
Caramel and barley sugar. Rich and broad with a slight oxidised quality in evidence.

Beaumont Hope Marguerite 2006
Bruised apple and stale beer. Past its best.

A general observation would be that when young, South African Chenin can easily match the Loire but doesn’t seem to have nearly the same staying power.

Domaine Huet Clos du Bourg Demi-Sec Vouvray 2001


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