Brendan Stater-West "Les Chapaudaises" Saumur Blanc 2017
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Brendan Stater West is producing elegant and age-worthy Chenin Blanc that display a lofty, pedigreed portrait of Loire Valley royalty. State-West makes his wines in the Domaine Guiberteau cellar, one of the most distinguished wineries in Saumur. This bottle is just the third vintage release from Oregonian turned French vigneron, and while it’s a wine of pedigree and precision, there is soul here, too.
The wine comes from a single-vineyard called Les Chapaudaises, located 2km south of Breze. Brendan made his first vintage from this vineyard, after Romain Guiberteau offered him space to make wine in the basement at Guiberteau. Brendan says, “I knew it was a terroir that could make the style of Chenin that I am crazy for: elegant, pure, vertical, with salinity from the limestone.” The thin, nutrient-poor sandy-loam-clay soils force the vines to dig deep into the bedrock, which is made up of the soft limestone bedrock that makes the region so famous.
The wine is wonderful — marvelously complex, clean but full of character, and at the base, it’s just so refreshing. The simple, soul-settling balm of fresh air. The alcohol is so well integrated, barely showing itself amidst heady aromas of sage and palo santo. Spice-driven, honeyed, and full of juicy apricot flavors. The wine fermented with indigenous yeasts in old barrels, then aged for an additional 18 months in barrel. If you want to see why Chenin Blanc is considered one of the great white wines in the world by wine-geeks, don’t miss this one.