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Red, White & JOLY!!!

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:


2011 Pascal Janvier Jasnières

This past weekend I cracked open a fun wine from the Jasnières region of France.  Jasnières, a small AOC in the Loire Valley of France, makes white wines exclusively using the Chenin Blanc grape, also known locally as Pineau de la Loire.  Located due north from Vouvray, Jasnières covers 65 hectares (about 160 acres) and is made up of calcareous-clay hillsides.

Chenin Blanc is a very versatile grape, producing fine wines in various styles and sweetness levels.  The wines of Jasnières, however, are often made dry and are known to age very well.

The 2011 Pascal Janvier Jasnières has sweet red apple and a touch of kirsch on the nose.  On the palate are the apple, white peach, sugared grapefruit and under ripe pineapple.  On the finish I detect a touch of residual sugar, but with the mouth watering acidity of this wine it is dry on the palate.  While smelling and tasting, I kept going back to my childhood with a memory of Sweet Tarts!  This wine is Sweet Tarts in a glass!

Pascal Janvier is obviously doing some great things in Jasnières.  This tasty, complex wine is still a baby and will only get better with time.  I wish that I had a case in my cellar that I could “watch” evolve over the next five or six years!

If you find yourself drinking mostly Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc for your whites and you need a change, give the Chenin Blanc wines of the Loire a try.  If you can find a bottling from Pascal Janvier in Jasnières, grab it and see what you think.  I have a feeling that you won’t be disappointed!



My husband and I opened a very interesting wine last night, a 2007 Domaine des Huards Cour-Cheverny.  We purchased this bottle at a Loire Valley wine tasting at Tim’s Wine Market in Orlando a couple of years ago.

I thought that this would be a fun wine to feature on my blog because it is made of the very rare Romorantin grape.  This white grape has grown in the Loire Valley since the 16th century.  It makes wine that is crisp and minerally, with good acidity.  DNA profiling has determined it to be the offspring of the varietals Pinot Meunier and Gouais Blanc.

The Cour-Cheverny appellation is situated within the larger Cheverny appellation, which is the most important zone in the middle Loire.  It was promoted to full Appellation Controlee status in 1993.  The wines made from Romorantin make up it’s own appellation (Cour-Cheverny) which is only about 48 hectare.

The 2007 Domaine des Huards Cour-Cheverny is deep golden in color.  On the nose we smelled pear, mango, citrus (including lemon and a hint of orange) and some almond.  The palate provided great acidity and minerality, along with the pear, lemon, green apple and a touch of mushroom.

The odds of you having a bottle of this in your cellar are slim, but if you do, drink it up!  It’s not going to last much longer.



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