DECEMBER SAUVAGE - FIEF NOIR ANJOU BLANC 'L'ÉCHAPPÉE' 2019
Fief Noir Anjou Blanc ‘L’échappée’ 2019 - $25.99
Though the reds of Fief Noir are wonderful, Chenin Blanc is their bread and butter. This is the Anjou, after all. Despite the many hectares of Chenin vines in Anjou, it has been often relegated to playing second fiddle to its slightly more well-known neighbors of Saumur and Savennières. That’s alright, though, because it means that superlative Chenin can still be had for a price such as that of the L’échappée. Great Chenin is matched perhaps only by Riesling for its ability to showcase greatness in all its forms–from dry to sweet, young to old, fresh to oxidative, ripe to lean. The best, most riveting examples, though, often toe the line between extremes. L’échappée may be a high-acid, freshness driven Chenin, but behind that are hints of concentration and ripe fruits that those who love White Burgundy are sure to appreciate.
L’échappée is sourced from 25 year old vines in Anjou planted to sandy soils on schist. Farming is organic, harvesting is manual, and fermentations are completely natural, with indigenous yeasts used exclusively. Like their Grolleau, Fief Noir opts for cement cuve for aging, so as to encourage the introduction of limited amounts of oxygen into the wine as it ages, without the risk of introducing unwanted flavors into the mix, as is the risk with barrel aging. Again, this is high-acid, mineral driven Chenin at its best, but with a hint of ripeness and body owing to the warm conditions of the vintage, making this really an ideal crowd-pleasing white for all palates. Again, for ideal pleasure, keep it simple–charcuterie and Loire valley cheeses are the ticket.