One thing I’ve learned on my wine journeys lately is that I kinda suck at white wine blind tasting. Let me qualify that. I have some success at picking out wines I drink alot nowadays. Oh, I can pick out German or Alsatian Riesling, and distinguish between California Chardonnay, white Burgundy and Chablis, but it’s those cheeky other varietals I haven’t been going steady with for awhile that vexes me. So I decided that this summer I’d embark on a little varietal journey with an open mind and palate. And it’s been rewarding, no more so than at a tasting at Storyteller last Friday. Michael Alberty was pouring Jacky Blot’s distinctive barrique-vinified, seductive and leesy rich on the palate Chenin Blanc.
Over the years, I’ve had a hot and cold relationship with Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley. Wines made from this varietal can have astonishing lean minerality that shimmers with a refreshing clarity. Bracingly dry. Or, they can possess a sweetness that tastes cloying to me and flat.
Jacky Blot, the winemaker, made a wine that is neither. It is not a greyhound of a Chenin, but rather, has a heady, leesy rich complexity and seductive texture and mouthfeel that leaves me wanting more.
The nose was gorgeous with a hint of that signature Chenin lanolin and waxy quality but I smelled a little white flowers and iris with meyer lemon zest and whole ripe lemons more than anything. The wine has backbone and this brightness that plays harmony with this wonderful languid viscosity on the palate. I tasted remarkable viscosity, but it isn’t weighed down by its richness. Finish was long and leaned out to some rocks and chalk and citrus zing. I love a richer mid-palate mouthfeel followed up by a leaner integrity in the finish and this wine has it. There is an austerity to this wine in the finish that sings.
Jacky Blot said “I have an obsession with dry wine.” Can I just say that makes me very happy? Please Mr. Blot, continue feeding your obsession. Can I also just say didn’t the Richie Rich Comics have a character names Jacky Blot? What a distinctive name. Thanks Storyteller Wine for pouring such an interesting and beautiful expression of Chenin Blanc. Mr. Blot is considered a rising superstar and if this Chenin is any indication, he is well on his way. Drink now or wait for a few years and see what secrets the wine will give up. I’m sure this wine will whisper a few good ones in your ears in the future.
I’m going to make carmelized scallops in brown butter with crispy bacon crumbles with this wine. I could also see this with sea bass and snap peas and roasted baby potatoes with some parmesan and butter and pepper.