Thursday, December 26, 2013

Prince Poniatowski Clos Baudoin Vouvray, 1982

My biggest mistake was thinking this would be a dessert wine. Many of Prince Poniatowski's Vouvrays are Moelleux--rich and sweet enough to serve at the end of the meal. The Prince, however, does not put labels such as sec, demi-sec and moelleux on his wines, choosing instead to make a wine that's suitable for the vintage. And the rains in 1982, I discovered, made it difficult to produce sweet wines that year, although the vintage was otherwise very good. Okay, tomorrow night, maybe I will serve it with the main course, although the wine is too idiosyncratic to match up with any dish I can imagine.

The color is a deep gold, and there are some stinky sulfur dioxide odors at first. With time, though, some intriguing Chenin Blanc smells and flavors emerge--quite a bit of botrytis honey, plus flowers and lemon. The lemon is very dominant, and the wine is actually tart. The term "nervy" is often applied to Clos Baudoin Vouvrays, and I can see why. Clos Baudoin is reputed to be one of the top vineyards in Vouvray, but this wine is not nearly as interesting as the 1982 Savennieres of Domaine Baumard I had a few years ago. Both are 100 percent Chenin Blanc; maybe I just prefer Savennieres to Vouvray.

Prince, by the way, is a legitimate moniker; Poniatowski's great-great uncle was the last king of Poland

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