Gak. After all this buttery Chardonnay talk, I needed some relief, and the Loire provided just the ticket. Cour-Cheverny is a small appellation in the Touraine whose wines are made entirely from the obscure Romorantin grape, which, according to the Oxford Companion, has been shown to be "the natural offspring of Meunier and Goulais Blanc." Owned by Jocelyne and Michel Gendrier, Domaine des Huards www.gendrier.com is one of the appellation’s leading producers. The grapes are organically farmed and fermented with natural yeasts and minimal intervention. Besides two cuvées of Cour-Cheverny, the estate also makes several Cheverny wines (the whites being blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay).
2001 Cour-Cheverny, Domaine des Huards
Pale lemon yellow, tending toward straw. Initial nose of vanilla ice cream (surprising because the wine sees no oak) blows off leaving a pile of waxy lemons sitting on a bed of dried hay, dusted with chalk and drizzled ever so lightly with kerosene and melted butter. Dry, almost peppery in its sharpness, with slate, lemon and sour apple giving way to a long finish and hints of puff pastry. Pure, intense and austere, it fairly demands a piece of simply prepared white fish. Still young at this point. About as far from a blowsy, malolactated, beaver-friendly Chard as you can get.