In the world of white French wine, the Loire is known for two primary grapes, Chenin Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc. I was planning to feature a particular Chenin Blanc, but discovered our host of WBW, Alder from Vinography was in fact planning to write about the very same wine from the very same vintage! (What are the chances?) Alas, I live in the Bay Area, where at a moments notice, you can drum up some pretty darn interesting wines very fast when you need to. I marched into The Wine House during my lunch hour, and found a Bobby Kacher Selection Quincy that suited my fancy, my wallet, and my desire to write about one of the lesser-known Loire whites that I actually drink quite often --Quincy. Both the Wine House and Vino! have always carried a couple of Quincy wines as long as I have been shopping there.
Quincy is usually a pretty simple Sauvignon Blanc, and usually under $15, even in these times of the high Euro, but Phillipe Portier is making a more sophisticated, careful wine than you usually find. Oz Clarke says it usually has overwhelming gooseberry flavors, but frankly, it's been so long since I've had a fresh gooseberry, I really can't say that's true. My tasting notes are below. (No gooseberry fabrication notes here...)
These are Robert Kacher's comments on M. Portier's Quincy from his site: "One of the secrets to the quality of his stunning wines is modern viticultural techniques, such as leaf pulling and crop thinning. His forward thinking has led him to using skin-contact in order to extract more flavor and personality from the Sauvignon. The wines are all stainless-steel fermented." He is making a very modern style Sauvignon, and the combination of gravel and loam soils with plenty of sunshine give the berries a nice ripe presentation.
Thanks once again to both our founder, Lenn, and this month's host, Alder. Can you believe it's been two years since this tasting group started? Wow.
Tasting Notes: WBW #24 Loire Whites: Phillipe Portier Quincy 2005
Color: Pale straw color
Scents: classic green apple and unripe pear aromas, lemon, lime, white peach, and the fresh snap of the grape.
In the Mouth: Flavors are caramel (amazing, since it's all stainless tank fermentation), lemon, apples, with gripping acidity.
What to serve with it? We had it with some nice grilled tuna, but I think it would show better with a classic French sole poached with cream.
Repeat buy? You bet. $18.99