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WTN Savennieres, "Coulee de Serrant, N. Joly, 1999


John W.
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Savennieres, "Clos de la Coulee de Serrant, N. Joly, 1999

I admittedly don't know a lot about chenin blanc except that I really like it, and have semi-embarked on an educational quest to familiarize myself with it. This bottle was one of the highlights. Burying cow horns filled with manure aside, Mr. Joly got my attention.

Almost absurdly golden in color, with aromas of caramelized honey, flowers, citrus, straw, crushed rock and baked apple. On the palate, more caramelized honey, lemonade and mineral notes blend seamlessly with wet straw and more apples on the extremely long and extremely crisp finish.

It seemed to still be tightly wound, I would say 5 more years for this one. Still, one of the more memorable wines I've had recently.

Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

Not the body of a man from earth, not the face of the one you love

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John,

I too, enjoy Savennieres but you have started at the top.

Joly makes wines of great character, substantial longevity and some controversy. They are also expensive, even by Savennieres standards.

There are a number of other pretty good producers that can be had for less than half the price, such as:

Baumard

Dom. du Closel

Clos de Coulaine

Chat. d'Epire

and others.

All of these producers vint several different cuvees each year. Look for some of the 2002's that will be hitting the shelves soon - a pretty good year for chenin, by all accounts.

Thanks for the note.

Best, Jim

www.CowanCellars.com

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Savennieres, "Clos de la Coulee de Serrant, N. Joly, 1999

I admittedly don't know a lot about chenin blanc except that I really like it, and have semi-embarked on an educational quest to familiarize myself with it. This bottle was one of the highlights. Burying cow horns filled with manure aside, Mr. Joly got my attention.

Almost absurdly golden in color, with aromas of caramelized honey, flowers, citrus, straw, crushed rock and baked apple. On the palate, more caramelized honey, lemonade and mineral notes blend seamlessly with wet straw and more apples on the extremely long and extremely crisp finish.

It seemed to still be tightly wound, I would say 5 more years for this one. Still, one of the more memorable wines I've had recently.

I had the pleasure of tasting this recently with Msr. Joly lecturing on the "joi de biodynamie". This wine is unbelievably delicious and definitely helps you to understand what Monsieur Joly speaks of when he discusses the local terroir. It smells of all things pleasant that you'd associate with the golden color - baked apples, caramel, pale yellow blossoms, sunshine, etc. The taste is even deeper and richer, with an earthiness I normally don't associate with white wines. I could drink this wine forever and never grow tired of it. <sigh>

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I recently bought 6 btls of the 1998 and had one about 10 days ago.

Gawd its good stuff! Sorry its so expensive. I am sure it would be less if Paterno did not put their M/U on it but I guess M. Joly needs a National Importer due to his need to be in the vineyards and winery rather than on the road.

I have a few customers who appreciate the wine but many have never had the opp to taste nor do they have the customers who would understand these wines.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

I have never met a miserly wine lover
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If it is as good as described, it sounds like an excellent value. I may have to try to find some.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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FinestWine.com is offering it for $143/bottle. This may be a different story as far as value. I don't know anything about this seller other than they obviously aren't cheap.

John W.

If you can get it at $40/bottle, I suggest loading up. I would be happy to purchase some with you if we could figure out logistics. PM me if you are interested.

In the meantime I'll keep looking. It's not a good day to check with my usual sources.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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The Rare Wine Co.has the 1990 for $80. My knowledge of 1990 is that it was a generally exceptional vintage. Anyone try this?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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The Rare Wine Co.has the 1990 for $80. My knowledge of 1990 is that it was a generally exceptional vintage. Anyone try this?

John,

As noted in my post above, this wine can be controversial.

Although I have no doubt that the wine described in John's original tasting note was lovely, many of the older vintages have tasters saying very diverse things. Even I have a large range of descriptors for different bottles tasted.

You might want to try a bottle before going long.

Best, Jim

www.CowanCellars.com

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The Rare Wine Co.has the 1990 for $80. My knowledge of 1990 is that it was a generally exceptional vintage. Anyone try this?

John,

As noted in my post above, this wine can be controversial.

Although I have no doubt that the wine described in John's original tasting note was lovely, many of the older vintages have tasters saying very diverse things. Even I have a large range of descriptors for different bottles tasted.

You might want to try a bottle before going long.

Best, Jim

Sounds like good advice, although the wine as described sounds intriguing and different from most of what I am used to. For the right price I am willing to indulge a little. $143/botle is not he right price. $80/bottle for the 1990 might be worth trying, but you are right, I wouldn't "go long" at that price without at least trying it.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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About 2 months ago, while looking for another wine in my cellar I came across a long lost andf forgotten bottle of this wine from 1967. My notes told me that I had bought it in 1970 from Post Wines out on the island for $75.00 a case. At that time Madame Joly was still making the wine. I took it to a monthly tasting with 5 of my "wine" friends only as a curiosity and we were all stunned. The wine, which had been stored in a 58/60 degree cellar from the day I bought it had a very dark golden color, an intense honey nose and a long and magnificent sweet, fruity, nutty finish to it and just a hint of acidity. After 15 minutes it did fade very quickly in the glass but what an enjoyable and most surprising 15 minutes we all had. I dream about such things happening to me. Hog that I am I will be looking very carefully if there might be a second bottle.

Edited by Hank (log)

Hank

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About 2 months ago, while looking for another wine in my cellar I came across a long lost andf forgotten bottle of this wine from 1967.

Hank,

When I hear stories like these, I get the feeling I should throw away my cellar inventory program. Nothing escapes it/me . . . :)

Best, Jim

www.CowanCellars.com

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In NJ wholesale averages about $40-$50 depending on vintage availability.

Please avoid the 1997 as there was a problem with Botrytis in the vineyard and the wine is atypical.

If anyone subscribes to The Art of Eating, Ed Behr did an extensive article on M. Joly about a year ago.

Good luck in your searches for this amazing wine.

Phil

I have never met a miserly wine lover
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In the hands of Joly in the Clos de la Coulee de Serrant, Chenin is at its idiosyncratic and authentic best. Your description of the 1999 is perfect and 1999 is arguably Joly's best wine ever. There is much hyperbole in that statement but much substance as well. We have recently tasted the 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001 around the country. As a previous poster commented, the 1997 is one strange puppy. I would not call it flawed but its certainly heavily influenced by botrytis and a perceivable amount of residual sugar. Its not for everybody but it is an interesting and charactered wine. The 1998 and 2000 present a similar profile of quality and character and are very good wines from difficult vintages. The 1999 and 2001 are truly spectacular wines for now or decades from now. The average retail price for these vintages should be ~$74/bottle. All of these vintages are currently available. For those unsure about the price, please try the 2001 Clos de la Bergerie, the lesser known but high quality single vineyard from Roche-aux-Moines, for ~$44/bottle or the 2001 Becherelle bottling for ~$35/bottle. Becherelle is basically Joly's village wine.

For more info on Joly, http://www.coulee-de-serrant.com or check out the October 2003 Decanter article on Savennieres by Stephen Brook.

Edited by wineserver (log)
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Also, These wines do need to get some air. I urge you to decant them for 30 to 60 minutes or pull the cork, decant and then put back in the bottle for awhile. My wife and I opened another bottle last week and had a glass each. The next day my wife poured a glass for lunch on her day off. She called me at the office to rave about how the wine had really opened up to show wonderful aromas and flavors. In the Art of Eating article, M. Joly suggests opening the bottle 24 hours prior to serving.

Personally, I think the decanting helps.

Phil

I have never met a miserly wine lover
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Phil - I opened the bottle, tasted it for flaws and then left it alone for an hour, which was good advice. We drank it over the course of two hours, vastly different wine from beginning to end.

Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

Not the body of a man from earth, not the face of the one you love

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Also, These wines do need to get some air. I urge you to decant them for 30 to 60 minutes or pull the cork, decant and then put back in the bottle for awhile. My wife and I opened another bottle last week and had a glass each. The next day my wife poured a glass for lunch on her day off. She called me at the office to rave about how the wine had really opened up to show wonderful aromas and flavors. In the Art of Eating article, M. Joly suggests opening the bottle 24 hours prior to serving.

Personally, I think the decanting helps.

Phil

A while ago I posted about a Baumard Sav ('01 Papillon I think) that I had decanted into a platic Figi water bottle and accidently left to rattle around in the car for several days until I brought it in, set it on my nightstand and then groggily the next morning without the aid of specs, guzzled thinking it was water. It was INCREDIBLE. Agreed, major decanting will only improve this kind of wine.

over it

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just had my first bottle last night paired with fresh Maine Winterpoint oysters from Browne Trading Co. This proved to be a spectacular pairing. The minerals in the wine meshed perfectly with the briny oysters. The oysters by the way were served only with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Move over, Chablis!

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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In the hands of Joly in the Clos de la Coulee de Serrant, Chenin is at its idiosyncratic and authentic best. Your description of the 1999 is perfect and 1999 is arguably Joly's best wine ever. There is much hyperbole in that statement but much substance as well. We have recently tasted the 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001 around the country. As a previous poster commented, the 1997 is one strange puppy. I would not call it flawed but its certainly heavily influenced by botrytis and a perceivable amount of residual sugar. Its not for everybody but it is an interesting and charactered wine. The 1998 and 2000 present a similar profile of quality and character and are very good wines from difficult vintages. The 1999 and 2001 are truly spectacular wines for now or decades from now. The average retail price for these vintages should be ~$74/bottle. All of these vintages are currently available. For those unsure about the price, please try the 2001 Clos de la Bergerie, the lesser known but high quality single vineyard from Roche-aux-Moines, for ~$44/bottle or the 2001 Becherelle bottling for ~$35/bottle. Becherelle is basically Joly's village wine.

For more info on Joly, http://www.coulee-de-serrant.com or check out the October 2003 Decanter article on Savennieres by Stephen Brook.

wineserver,

I have recently been offered the '99 and told by the importer that it was great. I have heard other people say that the wine is too fat. I love this wine and have been using it on and off for 20 years here. M. Joly has had many different importers over the years. Currently, Paterno handles the wine. Personally, I love to see the look on people's faces when I decant a white wine. I decant all of the white Grand Cru Burgundies that I serve, too. Should I buy '99 or 2000 for the restaurant?

Mark

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In the hands of Joly in the Clos de la Coulee de Serrant, Chenin is at its idiosyncratic and authentic best.  Your description of the 1999 is perfect and 1999 is arguably Joly's best wine ever.  There is much hyperbole in that statement but much substance as well.  We have recently tasted the 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001 around the country.  As a previous poster commented, the 1997 is one strange puppy.  I would not call it flawed but its certainly heavily influenced by botrytis and a perceivable amount of residual sugar.  Its not for everybody but it is an interesting and  charactered wine.  The 1998 and 2000 present a similar profile of quality and character and are very good wines from difficult vintages.  The 1999 and 2001 are truly spectacular wines for now or decades from now.  The average retail price for these vintages should be ~$74/bottle.  All of these vintages are currently available.  For those unsure about the price, please try the 2001 Clos de la Bergerie, the lesser known but high quality single vineyard from Roche-aux-Moines, for ~$44/bottle or the 2001 Becherelle bottling for ~$35/bottle.  Becherelle is basically Joly's village wine.

For more info on Joly, http://www.coulee-de-serrant.com or check out the October 2003 Decanter article on Savennieres by Stephen Brook.

wineserver,

I have recently been offered the '99 and told by the importer that it was great. I have heard other people say that the wine is too fat. I love this wine and have been using it on and off for 20 years here. M. Joly has had many different importers over the years. Currently, Paterno handles the wine. Personally, I love to see the look on people's faces when I decant a white wine. I decant all of the white Grand Cru Burgundies that I serve, too. Should I buy '99 or 2000 for the restaurant?

Mark,

My customers have bought both the 99 and 00 and I have had positive reports on both. Some writers have given the nod to the 00 but..... My only caveat is: do not buy the 97, as I have written in a prior post.

As they say: "pick 'em"

Happy Holidays

Phil

I have never met a miserly wine lover
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I saw a half-forgotten bottle of 1986 vintage for $35 (EUR 29,80) and I could not resist, I grabbed it (I was in the shop to buy a bottle of single malt scotch, actually...). My new year's wine. :smile:

Anyone have a clue about 1986? Over the hill? Decant or not?

Thanks,

Alberto

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Shared the 85 and 86 with some Rhone vintners this March in Ampuis. Both wines were rather strange and have little in common with newer vintages of the coulee (or very old ones which I haven't been fortunate enough to taste). The 86 had some CO2 and was a little sweet and you had the impression that it was vinified very reductively from not very ripe grapes which had seen quite a bit of botrytis. The 85 was more coulee-ish, with developped aromes but not completely over the hill. Again the quality of the grapes was anything but exceptional. Both only had 11.5% alcohol.

A word of caution on dismissing the quality of the 97. It was still shining when I last tasted it 1 1/2 years ago, but botrytized dry wines alwyas fall into a hole after their baby fat wears off. The 90 tasted on the same occasion was in a very akward stage and although I have no doubt that it will turn into a great wine, it was very difficult to enjoy in that stage.

The coulee is a notoriously difficult wine except when it shines and throughout the years I have had more consistent drinking pleasure from his village cuvee, which never shuts down but of course doesn't quite offer the same degree of sophistication.

Last year I encountered some strange bottles of the coulee with trie speciale or trie du clos or something similar marked on them. Could somebody please educate about this cuvee?

Edited by pumpernickel (log)
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