March 10th, 2011

Sarah Goes To to work and tries the Akemenine.

2008 Sebastien Riffault Akemenine Sancerre

100% Sauvignon Blanc

There is nothing typical about this wine.  It is an extreme expression of a beloved grape that will poke at your wine comfort zone.  It's the kind of wine you take to a party to out geek the wine geek you know will be there or throw a curve ball into your tasting group; you won't make friends with our resident Budweiser Pallet Guy if you bring this to his house.  The wine is not fined or filtered, thus the haziness.  It's also aged in neutral barrels on gross lees.  This imparts a roundness to the pallet that softens the grapes famous acidity. Very little sulphur is used on this wine.  Once it's open it will change alot and change more rapidly than more conventional wines.  Well chilled it drinks more like a chardonnay with crisp acidity—crying out for the green crisp flavors of spring: salads with pea shoots, young arugula, mache, fresh goat cheese and apple slices (maybe that's just me tired of root veggies).   These wines will probably never become mainstream, but there is a growing number of winemakers producing natural wines and they are worth investigating.   

Chilled and just opened the wine had aromas of bruised yellow apple, lees, quince, and cider.  The pallet showed more green apple notes and cider with wet stones, almonds, and tangy acidity (think creme fraiche). 

At the end of the day the wine was more sherry like with a strong leesy nose, crushed yellow apple, and white mushrooms.  It tasted of cider, wet stones, and biscuits; with air these wines seem to take on a sour lambic like quality.