Spent a few days in Germany with my girlfriends' parents, who both enjoy wine, but were relatively unfamiliar with the Loire. So, enter Rahsaan and his bottles in-tow from London.
(the night before leaving, to wash down France's victory over Portugal)
2004 Chateau de Coulaine Chinon
Crisp juicy correct chinon, yet a bit dull for all the fancy organic practices the back label touts. Apparently this was just featured in the Guardian or some other London paper. Good for them, less of it for me.
(and then, the mini-tasting)
2004 Frederic Mabileau Saint Nicholas de Bourgueil Les Rouillieres
This was a hit, fun juicy, tart zippy (but not at all green) cabernet franc. This is to drink now outdoors next to flowers and loved ones. With joy...
2003 Frederic Mabileau Saint Nicholas de Bourgueil Les Rouillieres
Not as much of a hit as the 04, a bit more roasted, a bit less zippy, but I still think it is a fine wine, to be appreciated on its own terms. I.E. it is full and ripe cabernet franc but with a relatively-high amount of freshness and is still quite firm on day two. I think these were both good efforts, each in their own idiom.
2001 Philippe Alliet Chinon Vieilles Vignes
Aha, here are the dark funky roasted expresso and green bean notes. This is in an in between stage where the body is mellowing and the fruit is not apparent, but it has not yet taken on full secondaries and the orange oak polish is sticking out. I guess you should wait to revisit, obviously not a super year, but perhaps some better things are on the horizon nonetheless.
2004 Huet Vouvray Le Mont Sec
The crowd pleaser, as it should be, classic elegant Vouvray, crisp and delicate in texture yet the edges are fully round and the nobility of the terroir shows through in the glistening mineral acids. Yes.
2002 Marc Angeli Anjou La Lune
A bubble of slightly orange fruit with slight rs, a friendly rustic mineral Anjou, nothing to complain about, although nothing to stir my emotions next to the Le Mont.
2001 Nicolas Joly Savennières
This opened too funky for the crowd, but it calmed into nice funky straw hay Savennières with mineral ripe bubble integration, the funk doesn't necessarily go away, but it does get firmer and more integrated. Nothing mind-blowing, but drinkable.
So, they left the evening with a desire to buy as much as Huet as possible, although not sure that is available in their Bremerhaven/Bremen part of the world. Oh well, at least some of my proselytizing was successful.
Of course they opened plenty of their own wine, but being heretics who do not like their own German Riesling, it was mostly pinot blanc, pinot gris, sylvaner and spatburgunder of no note. However, this one bottle caught my attention:
2003 Sasbach Winzergenossenschaft Rote Halde Spatburgunder Trocken Qualitatswein
This was nice juicy dark pinot fruit, ripe full and juicy but with earthy herbal fresh notes, very fun for all of 6euros, and I was surprised to discover it was a cooperative, as it is better than tons of "boutique" "family-owned" CA and NZ pinots at 5 or 10 times the price.