Domaine Le Peu de la Moriette Vouvray 2005
Perhaps it's all a ruse—this wine is so quickly gone—but a $14 nudge in the wallet in
exchange for this elevating Vouvray seems unfair to the producer and all those middlemen.
So be it. I love this wine; I could hardly nose it but to taste it. My initial thoughts were
orange, peach, mango, gingerbread, the minerality of warm, wet earth, a touch of rose,
crunchy tea biscuit. In the mouth the acidity teased, grew up and behaved, nicely
accompanying the off-dry sweetness and notes of key lime, orange, orange peel, white peach,
pineapple, more sweet gingerbread (this time with clove), tea biscuit again, a sense of
sun-baked flint, and notes of honey to match the summer-gold color.
The wine finished particularly long and well. Its key facet: ripe apple pie, thin crust, with touches of lemon zest, judicious clove, even less cinnamon, properly caramelized, topped with vanilla meringue, enjoyed in civilized company. As an alternative, bread pudding, again caramelized, enveloped in sweet vanilla. The well-played acidity evolves into a coda of fig at the finale.
The Pichots of Vouvray have been turning out these marvels for several centuries. I believe
some of the Chenin Blanc grapes used for this Vouvray were botrytized, subject to what we
call “noble rot,” an often intense and problematic flavor concentrator that is used here with
restraint. The wine is sec-tendre (off-dry), but one must resist the temptation to call it
sweet, which it is not; much of the apparent sweetness is in fact the best sort of ripeness; the
remainder of the sugar is taken in hand by the complementary acidity. The wine is
exceptionally well balanced and well integrated for one so young.
Great wines don't allow quick conclusions. So many good wines go with food; great wines with thought.
James Beard Award Nominee Elliot Essman