Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Wine Blogging Wednesday #24

Alder from Vinography is hosting this month and is asking us to taste a white wine from the Loire Valley from WBW's second anniversary.

I'm going to have to admit that I'm not particularly fond of French white wines (dodges the lightning strikes). I will gladly indulge in two exceptions, of sorts, in the form of Champagne and d'Yquem.

There's just something about the whites I've tasted that just doesn't appeal - those flinty characteristics coupled with metallic astringency.

This could just be a symptom of living here in Australia - perhaps we're just not getting the "good stuff". Just as I'm usually unimpressed at the Australian wines that are sold overseas, I could well imagine this situation happens in reverse.

sancerre

With this bias exposed, I have managed to find a Loire white - it's a Pierre Brévin 2004 Sancerre. Sancerre is unfortunately 100% Sauvignon Blanc - a grape variety that I tend to avoid if I can help it.

Sancerre is supposed to be semi-dry, fresh & fruity with vegetable flavours. Okay, how would this bottle compare?

sancerre

In the glass, it's an appealing straw colour with a nondescript nose. It's lower in acid than the typical Australian Sauvignon Blanc which is something I do appreciate - West Australian varieties are gum blistering.

Tasted without food, it's what I can only describe as twiggy - it's as if they have crushed the vines along with the grapes. Paalo likened it to having been held in old oak. I have no idea on how this particular wine is made as there's nothing on the label and nothing online. I have read that in recent times some wood has been used but whether or not this producer does is still a mystery.

With food, it improved but still does have those flint characters. This was tasted over two meals (lunch and dinner) and when served the second time, it was somewhat over-chilled and that resulted in only highlighting it's acidity and losing all other flavours.

This bottle retails here for $20 (factoring in transportation costs and retail mark up, it's probably closer to $5 in real terms). So, if this was my budget than this wouldn't be a wine I'd buy - it just can't compete realistically with a locally produced wine. So while this was an interesting experiment, it's not something I'd buy again.

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