Millton Estate Chenin Blanc Te Arai Vineyard 2008, Gisborne NZ

Deep shade of golden yellow; ripe guava, anjou pear, flinty, slight salinity and a gentle touch of honey on the nose; savoury tones, minerals, guava, a little feijoa, lime and lime pith on the palate; medium to medium-plus acid and finish. Tasty and good.

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Margrain Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2010, Martinborough

Margrain Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2010Pale yellow core with shades of bright green hue; lime peel, fresh stoned fruits, floral tones on the nose. Off-dry, ripe lime, mineral, fresh ripe guava, slightly spicy, clean and crisp. Medium to medium-plus finish; medium-plus acidity. Only 11.5% v/v. This is one of the only six producers in NZ who grows this variety and I possibly find this interesting based on that very fact. The botrytis version of this is pretty good too – not cloyingly sweet with sufficient acidity to cut through the sweetness stickiness (and with a somewhat long finish). Margrain carries a huge portfolio (about 14 wines produced) for such a small vineyard. Not easy feat I’d say but most of the other wines lack a little focus I’m afraid.

1989 Domaine Baumard Clos de St. Yves, Loire Valley, France

I would have written this off as an oxidized bottle of Chenin Blanc had I not known better. This had a beautiful aroma of white truffles & dried oysters, layered with a distinctive honey and camomile character on the nose if only you would give it enough time. It took me close to five hours to coax this beauty out of its slumber! Dangerously close to oxidation, this wine exhibited a very long finish with plenty of very ripe lemons and superbly ripe apples on the palate. The acidity that it still contains is educational, to say the least. Would it get any better? I am not too sure. But I would definitely drink up if I had them in my cellar đŸ™‚