MCF Rare Wine
The Ineffable Duality of Chenin
The vines struggle.
Out of that struggle, something beautiful emerges.
The eternal mystery of wine, of life.
Sorry, I know I’m not usually so WooWoo, but the truth of matter is that wine has always communicated something more…something that a great meal, a stunning painting, a symphonic masterwork, also can. These are the things that, despite thousands of years of linguistic refinement, remain beyond all attempts to truly communicate their actual experience with words.
Now, it may seem like I’m about to pitch you on some super expensive wine that you need to let age for two decades before you can experience such ecstasy, but…alas…the beauty of wine, like all the other things I mentioned above, doesn’t require money.
After all, a perfect slice of Joe’s Pizza, or a simple melody on a guitar can be just as transcendent as the most highbrow tasting menu or opera can.
So, let’s get back to the point of this ramble…
Of all the grapes that can express the dual nature of wine, Chenin is capable of things that almost no other grape is.
(Yes, Riesling…yes, Nebbiolo…I know, I know…)
But, what makes Chenin so special is the way it, like Riesling, can express itself with ripeness and/or sweetness, or racing acidity/minerality. But, for me, what separates it from Riesling, is the way it can go oxidative, yet still display the ‘tension’ and the ‘duality’ that people chase.
Today’s wine, despite being a relatively humbly-priced wine, and despite being made of the ‘young’ vines, does all of that.
Domaine aux Moines has become one of the most singular estates in Savennieres, and their ‘Roche aux Moines’ ages for decades, deftly walking the tightrope between racy, citric minerality and rich, nutty and savory.
This, their glorious little ‘entry’ wine, called Berceau des Felles, showcases the house style beautifully. In addition to toeing the line between racy/oxidative, it also masterfully toes the line between ‘natural’ and ‘clean’.
The high-toned lemon-y/citric aromatics hit the front of your tongue, and the racy acidity begins to scream across your palate. As it hits the middle, the richer, nuttier elements begin to take hold, and its wide-open, natural personality begins to spread out.
As that weight slims down again towards the long finish, the piercing minerality takes over, leaving you longing for another dive right in.
Like all good, oxy-styled Chenin, the longer its open, the better it tends to get, where more bright, wool-y, pit-fruity and savory elements explode.
DOMAINE aux MOINES
Le Berceau des Fées 2021
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MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street NYC 10011
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