I stopped at my local wine shop, The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan, to pick up a case of my Bride’s latest go-to wines. I may be a blogger, but she is the darling of the shop and they are always checking on how she is doing. They were able to ably assist in her desire for more wine, and offered a couple of wines for me to taste as well, and of course to relay the results to my Bride.
We started with a taste of Bodegas Gerardo Mendez Albarino DO Ferreiro Rias Baixas subzone Val do Salnes 2020. The DO wine zone in the Galicia region of Spain was awarded in 1988, and the predominate grape is Albarino. There are five distinct Subzones and Val do Salnes is considered one of the most important of the subzones and it is known as being the coolest and wettest of the zones off the coastline and a granite soil. The DO rules state that the wine must be seventy percent Albarino, but this particular wine is pure Albarino. Bodegas Gerardo Mendez has vineyards dating back to 1850 and now they are completely modernized. This straw-colored wine offered big floral notes. On the palate a very crisp wine with tones of floral and mouth-watering acidity with a decent finish of minerals, a wine that a lot of people refer to as green and flinty.
We followed that wine with Domaine Huet L’Echansonne or just Domaine Huet is the leading producer in the Vouvray region of the Loire Valley. They are known for their assorted Chenin Blanc wines, both for their richness and concentration of flavor, but also for their ability to age for a long time. The thirty-five-hectare estate has three main south-facing vineyards on a plateau above the river and smaller plots as well. Domaine Huet Cuvée Constance Vouvray 2016 and it is a tribute to Madame Constance Huet and only uses the late and concentrated grapes from the three main vineyards. This wine is only produced in small quantity and only in years when the high standards for this wine are met. “Constance” was the result of an accident. In 1989, during the final harvesting of the berries, the grape juice was so exceptional, that the fermentation lasted for months. After consultations, it was decided to blend only these long-fermented juices together and Cuvée Constance was born. Grapes are pressed and fermentation using only natural yeasts with half in demi-muids (600-liter capacity oak barrels typically used in the Rhone Valley) and half in traditional vats for six months and a production of five-hundred cases. My first thoughts were that this pinkish-gold wine was honey, but then it revealed ripe pears and sweet spices with a delicious and long finish, and yes, I nursed this tasting for all it was worth.
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