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Bill Spohn

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TN: 1997 Domaine du Closel Savennières Cuvée Spéciale

by Bill Spohn » Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:19 pm

Notes on a pleasant Loire wine with a very tasty dinner.

1997 Domaine du Closel-Château des Vaults Savennières Cuvée Spéciale -

Took a chance on this wine as they need 6 or 7 years to shed some of the high acidity of youth, and after that happens you can assess what is left. Chancy keeping this around for 23 years. It was a mid golden colour, with an oxidative nose (as expected) that passed with time once opened. It became a honey and white flower nose with nutmeg underneath. In the mouth it was a medium to heavy bodied wine with a slightly oily texture – lots of stuffing still there, with ample acidity. With some more time in the glass I was getting beeswax and more pronounced honey, and an intriguing saffron note. There was ample acidity and it finished medium long. This was a bell curve wine – after opening it went from a definite meh to a very interesting wine at peak and then a half hour later it crashed into an oxidative mess.

There was a sticker on the bottle saying that the ministry of agriculture had awarded it a gold medal in 1999 – no idea what that means. In any case this had shown more longevity that one could reasonably expect and I was glad to come across it in the cellar.

Served with a pork tenderloin a la moutarde – large trimmed tenderloin slathered with Dijon mustard, S&P, roasted with water in the pan until it hit 135 F., and served sliced with a sauce I really enjoy – you sauté chopped shallot in the bottom of the pan the pork was cooked in, scraping up all the good bits left there, deglazed with white wine and reduced a bit and then augmented with crème fraiche and chopped rosemary and reduced. Veeeerry tasty and a nice foil to a wine with good acidity.

Served with eggplant parm – slices of eggplant dredged in egg wash, and a mix of parmesan cheese, ground almonds, basil, paprika and oregano and then baked, after which it is topped with tomato sauce and grated mozzarella and returned to the oven for a few minutes. We love it freshly made, but we also tend to do a job lot at once and freeze the excess as it can be thawed and heated quite successfully.
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John S

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Re: TN: 1997 Domaine du Closel Savennières Cuvée Spéciale

by John S » Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:25 am

It was a trip down memory lane reading about this wine. The Cuvee Speciale are finicky beasts when they age, aren't they? You never know what you are going to get, and it sounded like you had three different versions for your bottle! Sometimes the oxidative phase ends after a lot of air, but one never knows for sure...
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Bill Spohn

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Re: TN: 1997 Domaine du Closel Savennières Cuvée Spéciale

by Bill Spohn » Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:00 pm

Exactly right John. When it pays off it is great - the rest of the time the others (unfamiliar with these wines) are wondering why you gave it cellar space! I also have some of the 97 Closel Les Coulees I have to try and turned up a couple of bottles of 93 Closel Clos du Papillon I better try soon.

Hope to see you for some sipping when the current health situation resolves! Opened a 93 Beaucastel VV Roussanne awhile ago (very good) and thought of you.

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