We had such a delicious, fascinating wine last weekend, we thought we absolutely had to share it here. There was only one problem however: we had trouble figuring out how to describe it. We were not the only ones: a quick search showed that Chris of the excellent Full Pour wine blog felt exactly the same about this gem from the obscure JasniÃ¨res wine area.
We thought about it some more and eventually stumbled upon a Joan Rivers quote in which she described a pop singer’s look as “If Elvis and Elvira had a kid, this would be it.” Looking at the picture of the singer, then at our bottle, we suddenly had a flash: this is it! If Chablis and Sancerre had a love child, this is how it would taste
On the nose, this Chenin Blanc has a light smell of lemon drop along with some delicate floral notes… maybe lavender? The mouthfeel is relatively full and rounded and has a surprising sweetness in the mid-palate. The only thing we could compare it to was candied Granny Smith apple mixed with Lemonheads.
Not only is this a fantastic bottle but it is also made by the kind of winemaker that we love to encourage. Pascal Janvier is a man who makes wine by passion and works hard to do so. He was not born into a winemaking family and studied his art in a specialized Loire high school in the early 1990s. He bought 9 hectares – minuscule by most standards – and 210 cases of his wine (2520 bottles) are now distributed stateside.
If you are tired of Chardonnay but enjoy its fresh and fruity citrus flavors, this is a great alternative. It is beautiful on its own and really does not need food. Perfect to celebrate the spring, this would be a great late afternoon drink wonderful in a sunny garden or on a roof terrace, ideally paired with nothing more than a warm sweater and a blue sky.
Pascal Janvier JasniÃ¨res 2008 | $22 at Dandelion Wines, 153 Franklin Street, Brooklyn.