Clos Michet 2009, Domaine de la Taille aux Loups, Montlouis
This week has been all about dipping into bottles in the cellar in our house in France. Well, not strictly the cellar - more like the cupboard under the stairs. It’s not ideal wine storage - it’s a bit too warm in the Languedoc - but it stays cooler than the rest of the house.
We’ve had a few under performing bottles, overlooked and kept too long, but the outstanding wine of the week has been this one: Jacky Blot’s 2009 Clos Michet from Montlouis, a sumptuous chenin blanc that one could easily mistake for a top white burgundy.
Although not certified organic (so far as I can make out*) Blot avoids the use of chemical fertilisers and is meticulously careful in his grape selection, discarding bunches if they’re in any way damaged. (We saw him do this one year.)
2009 was, of course, a hot year so this is riper than you’d expect but not blowsy at all. We drank it mainly on its own as an aperitif and the remainder with a chard and ham gratin with a creamy sauce with which it went quite perfectly.
It’s a great reminder of the virtues of hanging on to Chenin, especially from the Loire - and good to find that you can buy the 2012 vintage in the UK from Laithwaite’s albeit at a rather pricier figure (£21) than we paid for ours. Worth it though particularly as the 2013 harvest was badly affected by hail.
* there's an interesting piece on his approach to winemaking on his website if you read French. (The Google translation is pretty incomprehensible.)
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