On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Le Clos J: The Return of Claystone

07 Nov 2022

(September 26, 2022) ... To mark the occasion of the return of Claystone wines (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) – Le Clos Jordanne hosted media in the vineyard for an afternoon of small plates and new wines.Thomas

It was the new 2020s which included Pinot Noir and Chardonnay within their three lines: Jordan Village, Le Grand Clos, and the newly reissued Claystone terrace. Smoke & Barrel Niagara catered and included things like Pork Rillettes, Steak Tartar and Cheese "Fondue" matches for the Pinot and Smoked Salmon, Corn Soup and Basque Cheesecake for the Chardonnay.

Due to pandemic-related supply chain issues with glassware and bottling, these wines were just 3 weeks in bottle. Some showed extremely well and should only get better ... others were closed and hard to get a handle on. Therefore, reviews will be pending another taste at a later date. For now these are the three wines that showed very well.

Le Clos Jordanne 2020 Pinot Noir, Claystone Terrace
This boy is back in town. After the relaunch of Le Clos the wonder was on as to which vineyards would return to the fold. Le Grand was back, a Village showed up second (under a new name “Jordan Village”), and now Claystone makes its return as well. An elegant yet powerful version with earthy, black cherry, peppered-cranberry and some floral notes as well. The acidity shows a real punch on the palate and the nose offers up a real pleasing clove and ginger note that never appears in the mouth, but acts as the lure to make you take sip after sip after sip. It's a muscular wine that still shows off its feminine wiles.  (****+)

Le Clos Jordanne 2020 Pinot Noir, Jordan Village
The nose has a hint of ginger root, but the palate shows not a lick of it- instead, it's black cherry, white pepper and a cranberry finish.  (****)

Le Clos Jordanne 2020, Chardonnay, Jordan Village
Gee whiz Grandma, what a lovely Chardonnay you've made. Thomas B and the team at Le Clos have cobbled together the best Jordan Village to date (granted, there have been only two, but this one will be hard to beat). Ripe apple, peach, green melon all make an appearance there's a lovely punch of acidity on the finish and a rich spicy note that lingers... Sip a little more and there's some subtle tropical note that appears and help win the day.  (****+)


Dinner Featuring Anjou Wines - in the Loire

03 Nov 2022

(April 26, 2022) … The opening dinner in the Loire had a walk around tasting with a few food pairings on the table, then we got into the main event … These are the wines that stood out - and some wonderful food pics as well:

Domaine Patrick Baudouin 2019 Ronceray Les Zersiles Blanc    Ronceray
There are notes of apricot and pear, with good minerality and acidity plus a nectarine finish.  (****)

Château De Suronde 2018 Création de Suronde Blanc    
Lovely aromas with mineral and wild flowers permeating; there’s also some lovely lemon notes and a dry and salty finish.  (*** ½+)

Domaine Ogereau 2020 La Martinière Blanc    
Dry with minerality, crisp apple and wet stone.  (*** ½+)

Domaine De Fonteny 2018 Bouton d'Or     
There's a funny little bitterness that cuts through the sweetness; you’ll also find mineral freshness with pear and apricot fruit.  (*** ½+)

Domaine Patrick Baudouin 2015 Les Zersiles
Silky and seductive; with honeyed-ginger, apricot/nectarine, peach pit; very well-balanced.  (*** ½+)

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