Sunday, May 15, 2005

Lobster on the Moon
Nailing Down the Boiled SeaBug

It has been a quest that has spanned almost a decade, but I believe I have finally found the perfect foil for the boiled lobster, with or without the lemony garlic butter. It is a wine that combines the minerality of a Chablis, the richness and oxidative flavors of great white Rhône, and the acidity and herbal notes of Gruner Veltliner. Add to this list bio-dynamic, a hint of sugar, and the fact that the vigneron has chosen to break from tradition and produce a wine that he wanted, as opposed to what the AOC rules impose, and you have one of the most unique dry Chenin Blancs that I have ever had the pleasure to drink.

Anjou Blanc 2001, La Lune, Ferme de la Sansonnière ($50…importation)

While the wine carries the Anjou blanc appelation, it is actually produced in Bonnezeaux, home to some of the best sweet Chenin in the world. However, as AOC rules allow only for sweet wines in Bonnezeau, winemaker Marc Angéli has been forced to give his wine the general Anjou label. While I appreciate the spirit behind the French AOC system, that is to protect the regional character of french wine, there must be room for vignerons like Angéli who are simply pushing the limits of tradition. A Bonnezeau will fetch a higher price than a lowly Anjou Blanc, and people like Angéli should be compensated for their efforts. I have no problem drinking a Bonnezeau Sec. But if this is the future of Anjou, then sign me up.

An intense gold color reminiscent of sweet Chenin, this is a far cry from the white flowers and citrus flavors that are the hallmark of most dry Loire Chenin. Hints of honey, browning apples, figs macerated in eau de vie, are but a few of the flavors encountered as we slowly worked down the bottle. As the bottle warmed, it became unbelievably rich, almost to a buttery caramel that makes me wonder if the wine has seen a bit of time in oak. This was rich to the point where I couldn’t remember wether or not I had dipped the lobster meat in the butter or not. Balanced by a wonderful acidity, it never became to heavy, just an exceptionally profound wine that combines the weight and breadth of classic Loire sweet with the facility of being dry. Amazing.


Lenn said...

If there is anyone that finds more great white wines...I don't know them.

I don't eat lobster (or any other shellfish due to an allergy) but it sounds as if the pain and sickness I'd feel might be worth it if I had this along side.

john bossy said...

Yes, the caveman is pretty good. White wine now claims 40% of what I own since I began reading this blog. I need to learn more about what to serve with them. Still cautious about sweet wines on the table.

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