January 27, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes!

After tasting the two Domaine aux Moines, Savennières Roches-aux-Moines we put the corks back in and left them in the Lab fridge. Someone (me) had opened a bottle of Champagne, so we moved on.

But the next day, after breakfast, I went into the Lab to finish some year-end expenses. I noticed the two bottles and thought I'd check in, see how they were doing.

WOW!

Today, the 1994 is a completely different wine. It's even a different color. Last night, it was a pale, straw yellow. Today it has oxidized into a rich, golden hue. It now presents a sweetly honeyed nose of apple peel and pear fruit, with some citrus pith, oyster shell and even a hint of botrytis. In the mouth, the youthful, racy acidity (lime) of yesterday, is joined by ripe anjou pear. Where did that fruit come from? Yesterday I thought this was interesting. Today I find it exceptional.

Given the changes evident in the '94, it's perhaps worth noting that these wines come from a 33 hectare sub-section (lieudit) of the Savennières AOC, called Roche aux Moines. In this region, biodynamic apostle-in-chief, Nicolas Joly, also grows grapes. We've written about Joly before and his claims that his wines are better on the fifth day.

So maybe this will continue to improve into next week? I wonder if the tenure of these wines has something to do with the dirt of the Savennières? Might explain why both Napoleon and Robert Parker have championed this Loire Valley appellation.

The 2004, meanwhile, hasn't evolved at all.

Go figure.

3 comments:

Dirty said...

The 94 Roche A.M is a wonderful bottle. I had one on Sunday w/ a flight of other 90's Savennieres.

Nice notes.

Managing Principal, Labstuff said...

Thanks Hardy. Based on a far too small sample set, I'd say there's some bottle variation issues with the Roche aux Moines. But when it's good, it's very good.

And nice marketing blitz on Fermentation. Potentially very clever, but I fear you may see some blow black. Guess we'll see if Warhol had it right.

Cheers!

dhonig said...

Wine definitely changes overnight. Indeed, I would suggest you get a much better idea of not just the quality of a wine, but also its remaining life or cellar potential, by trying it over two nights. Of course, that's the whole premise behind 2 Days per Bottle (http://2daysperbottle.blogspot.com), so it's no surprise I'm sitting here nodding my head.