Saturday, April 14, 2007

Domaine Philippe Delesvaux, Coteaux du Layon, Selection de Grains Nobles, 2001

I bought this wine in the US because of the high Wine Spectator score (98) and because a Loire dessert wine labelled "Selection de Grains Nobles" seemed like an interesting curiousity at the time and I thought it would make an interesting challenge at blind tastings, though as it turned out I served it non-blind to friends.

I'm not sure whether Delesvaux is considered a traditional Loire winemaker. I've read that he belongs to a group of winemakers christened by Robert Parker Sugar Hunters, which worried me that the wine would be over-the-top.

But it wasn't, though I don't think it's as amazing as the WS score indicates. I think I'm not yet attuned enough to sweet wines to appreciate a really great one but I suspect that doesn't account for all of the difference in opinion. Whatever, it was very refreshing at the end of a long barbecue lunch and well received by the wine geeks round the table.

Deep bronze colored, much deeper than I’d expected. Tea, dried fruits, orange peel and spices on the nose. The palate is even better, a bit heavy on the attack then growing lighter at the finish, balanced and very long, with good grip. It’s not very complex and I’m not sure where the high scores come from but it is indeed an excellent wine.


T. said...

Hi Chaim,
I haven't had an opportunity to taste a wine from Delesvaux, but my experience is that the Chenin based sweet wines gain much of their complexity with considerable age, more like Riesling. You may have opened this one 15 years too early...

2GrandCru said...

Hi T,

My decision to open now was because Delesvaux seemed very New Wave to me and I wasn't sure the wine was designed for the long haul. Plus my curiousity got the better of me.

2GrandCru said...

And by the way, from your experience, would you expect a 6 year old sweet Chenin Blanc to be very deeply colored?

T. said...

I would expect it to be golden rather than straw.