For many 2009 was not a good year – economic crises, falling currency values, unemployment. However, there are going to be some great memories of 2009. So far the wines of Bourgueil and Saumur-Champigny ,and now Chinon.
The Fete du Vin at Panzoult is every 1st May and a visit has been on the ‘wish list’ for a long time. This year – success! How fortunate to join the viticulteurs of Panzoult in celebrating the 2009 Chinon.
The day started with a visit to Domaine Hérault where Eric Hérault produces a consistently good Chinon every year. The 2009 Chinon, full of promise, and the 2009 Vielle Vignes is already rich and silky. A good benchmark to start the day.
The cave at Domaine Hérault is magnificent. Arriving at the same time as Eric Hérault’s mother, she explained the cave was discovered ‘par hazard’ by the family dog who had disappeared into the fallen rock. Further investigation revealed this huge cave, originally excavated to provide stone for Le Chateau close by, and now serves as a magnificent and welcoming place for degustation.
We then wandered down happily to the Fete du Vin and the Cave des Vignerons of Panzoult, hearing music and merriment as we approached.
The cave at Panzoult is dedicated to wine, with purpose built niches and a bar for each viticulture. The stone around each niche is carved, delicate, erotic, sensual, suggestive……..
Just under 20 viticulteurs from the commune welcome visitors in this magnificent cave. There is no entry fee, but for degustation a glass is essential- a bargain at 2 € with so many wines to taste.
So here goes ….
Tasting so many wines in one day was a challenge. We decided to stay with Chinon 2009 red so as not to get too ‘confused’. It was essential to crache (spit) in order to stay the course.
Was the wine or did I really think the personality of the viticultuers influenced my opinion of each wine? There is something to be said for a degustation with the viticulteur, rather than the confusing array of bottles on a supermarket shelf.
If the choice was only four, it would probably be:
Françoise et Francis Desbourdes
There were many more and a long list of visits to make in the Panzoult area.
We were sustained by fouées, baked in the enormous fireplace in the deepest part of the cave. with a choice of rillettes, beurre d’escargot et fromage de chevre. We ate a picnic at midi overlooking the vines in this beautiful little valley and returned home tired by very happy.