This great pairing arose as a result of a new interest my husband has in natural wines. Actually no-one has come up with a watertight definition of ‘natural’ but it’s generally agreed that the vines are treated organically and/or biodynamically and the wines made with as little sulphur and chemical additives as possible (in some cases none).
The Premier Rendez-vous Montlouis-sur-Loire 2008 from Lise and Betrand Jousset (16.50) from Vine Trail is a case in point. It comes from 40-70 year old organically reared, low-yielding, Chenin Blanc vines, is late picked and fermented in 1-5 year old barrels, most of them large casks and left on its lees. It really is absolutely superb - full, ripe and peachy with a lovely delicacy and balancing acidity. We had it with some crostini topped with fresh white crab meat seasoned with lime, coriander and a little chilli which was good but I think it would have been even better with totally unadorned fresh crab, freshly picked from the shell.
Other pairings according to the website Ecce Vino which sells the wine are smoked eel, veal or chicken in a creamy sauce, pork au poivre, pan-fried foie gras, haddock (it doesn’t specify how this should be prepared) smoked herring (kippers?) and chicken liver pâté. I’m not totally convinced by this list except for the creamy sauces which are a classic with Chenin.
The Joussets recommend on their page on Vins Nature en Nord that you carafe their wines - even the whites - and don't serve them too cold (not under 10C).