From: Savennieres, Loire Valley, France
Varietal: Chenin Blanc
Taste: Probably the most mineral driven of the Ogereau wines. The nose combines white fruit with green citrus, lemon zest, bergamot and the vegetal notes of dill, lime and spring flowers. In the mouth, you’ll get an intense sensation of freshness with this crystalline wine. The minerality of the sandstone asserts itself with a fine-grained texture. The finish is full of energy and lengthens with a great salinity, the strength of this exceptional terroir.
Pairing: A classic French wine calls for a riff on a classic French chef’s recipe, namely Chicken-Tarragon Pot Pie originally by Julia Child and Jacques Pepin and adapted by Julia Moskin. It will yield eight servings and take about an hour and a half to prepare.
About. Savennières is a distinct and celebrated dry white wine appellation in the Anjou region of the Loire, immediately south west of the town of Angers. These examples of dry Chenin Blanc display a fantastic and unusual combination of nerve, concentration, and longevity, that have attracted many fans and winemakers, including the Ogereau family.
Emmanuel Ogereau’s biggest imprint on the family domaine has so far been with its dry Chenins. They are now picked before the onset of botrytis; Emmanuel wants “not one affected berry.” When necessary, shortly before harvest, botrytised grapes are cut off. Harvest then consists of two tries (just when the grapes start to turn yellow), whereas his parent used to pick with up to four tries (waiting for green or pale yellow berries to turn deep gold and for the onset of some botrytis).
The Ogereau cellar is one where malos naturally don’t happen, or happen only partially. Emmanuel uses sulfur, but doesn’t bombard the wines with it (and he is doing sans soufre trials). Partial malo, about 30%, is a proportion that Emmanuel likes. Sometimes he finds Chenins on schist with no malo too strict: “The wines can be too tight, too closed. They can be beautiful with some cellaring, but not in their youth.” One of his 2015s did fully complete its malo. In this regard, he is more in line with Tessa Laroche than he is with Thibaud. (He loves Tessa’s 2015s.)
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