Wine of the Day March 23, 2015

2012JoussetChenin2012 Lise & Bertand Jousset, Estate Premier Rendez-Vous, Montlouis sur Loire, France.
Chenin is seeing a huge surge in desire with many gorgeous and delicate Chenin Blancs becoming the new white wine darlings, and while Chenin has has a rocky road and up and down cycle in California, it seems to have found a revival in popularity to the point where it has succeeded in getting a serious niche in the market place both in restaurants and wine shops. This is great to see, and we owe this to the new and old pioneers in the Loire that made such glorious wine, like these Lise & Bertand Jousset offerings, especially this latest estate Premier Rendez-Vous, an all natural Chenin Blanc from their own vines in Montlouis sur Loire, made with native yeasts, aged an the lees and with almost no sulphur, and like most of the top Loire estates is all organic, practicing biodynamic methods. Following in the tradition of Nicolas Joly and Francois Chidaine, but definitely showing their own style and terroir influences, their old vine Chenin is wonderfully detailed and elegant with loads of character and striking mineral focus. The 2012 Jousset Premier Rendez-Vous starts with earthy and floral bouquet with a hint of loam, river rock and white flowers leading to a vivid palate of mixed citrus, peach and quince notes, there is an almost grapefruit like tangy sensation and the wine plays delicately in mouth with vibrant acidity, chalky stone notes and lingers on with sweet herbs, verbena, golden apple and lemon. With air the peach elements show brighter and the drive folds nice into the texture, but this wine stays lifting, light and refined throughout, this is really beautiful and dreamy Chenin. The new world, especially South Africa and California are coming on strong too, with many new an exciting wines, in California in particular there is a lot of buzz from producers like Littorai, Sandlands and Field Recordings, and there have been some great Chenins in the past and present in the state too, I love the Casa Nuestra in St Helena old vine dry Chenin, and the Daniel Gehrs Chalone Chenin Blanc was one of my all time favorites, but it is hard to beat the classic Loire Valley wines for magical purity and seduction, all this Jousset is a fantastic wine. Drink this lovely Montlouis, imported by Return to Terroir, over the next 3 to 5 years, best from 2015 to 2018.
($24 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive