When it comes to the 4th of July at our house, we throw an annual Red, White & Bubbles celebration!!! A pyro pro from Disney World lives behind us, and provides the night’s entertainment. We, along with our friends, provide the wines. It’s always great fun to try a fun variety of wine with friends and fellow wine geeks to toast our country’s independence.
One of the most interesting wines I cracked open for the 2015 Independence Day celebration was a bottle of the 2004 Nicolas Joly “Roche Aux Moines Clos de la Bergerie” Savennières.
Savennières is an AOC located on the right bank of the Loire River in the Loire Valley of France. La Roche aux Moines (along with Coulée de Serrant) achieved independent AOC status in 2011. In fact, the 7 hectares Coulée de Serrant AOC is owned exclusively by Joly! The Savennières region produces what many believe to be France’s most age-worthy white wines, usually made exclusively from the Chenin Blanc grape.
The 2004 Nicolas Joly “Roche Aux Moines Clos de la Bergerie” Savennières (100% Chenin Blanc) is a golden copper in color and has overripe apricot, yellow apple, honey, and almond nuttiness on the nose. The palate is ripe, not sweet, and is loaded with candied orange, baked apricot and honeyed nuts on the palate. The slight oxidation reminds me of a wonderful sherry. This exciting quality entices my nose and taste buds and makes me want more. Oh what a lovely wine this is, balanced by its acidity and concentration of flavor. Only 100 cases were made.
Nicolas Joly is one of the leading personalities in the biodynamic winemaking movement, having written extensively on the subject and having practiced this method of viticulture since 1980. Predating organics, biodynamic viticulture was developed in the early 20th century by Rudolf Steiner. This philosophy of agriculture believes that all parts of the universe are interconnected, and that the alignment of the planets and phases of the moon direct the progress in the vineyards and the winery. It actually makes a lot of sense to me, and Joly’s wines are great examples of why I’m a believer!
If you’d like to try some of the worlds most special and unique examples of the fabulous Chenin Blanc varietal, look for wines from the Loire Valley. In fact, head to the Savennières region and check out Nicolas Joly’s wines in particular!
Here’s a wonderful website detailing Joly’s wines, vineyards and viticulture philosophy: http://coulee-de-serrant.com/uk/