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Domaine de Montcy Cour-Cheverny 2014

Domaine de Montcy Cour-Cheverny 2014

It is hard to imagine returning from the Loire Valley suffering the ill effects of stage 4 Romorantin deficiency, nevertheless this has been my very recent experience. For those unfamiliar with this surprisingly rare affliction, stage 1 is marked by tremors and cold sweats, fairly non-specific symptoms which could just as easily be ascribed to Chenin Blanc deficiency by the less astute physician. A swelling and sudden elongation of the nose heralds the arrival of stage 2, a significant sign as it the only other physical symptom of the disease associated with this disorder. Thereafter, all subsequent stages – as I know only too well after this weekend – are neuropsychological.

Stage 3, which arrived Saturday morning, is marked by extroverted behaviour, in particular a desire to wear extravagant clothing and to engage the services of Italian Renaissance artists and alchemists. By the afternoon I was striding around the house wearing a fur-lined hat and silk jacket, while calling out for Leonardo da Vinci to come and design a new staircase for me. Although I have absolutely no memory of the events, I am told I was very convincing. Unfortunately the symptoms weren’t recognised as a serious deviation from my normal weekend activities, and so the disorder went unchecked. By Sunday morning I had advanced to stage 4, the final and most serious. By the time the disease has progressed this far the symptoms are quite florid, with many different features including a desire to explore the New World and to befriend Ottoman emperors. The key sign that alerted others to my plight, however, was the uncontrollable urge I experienced to mount a horse and go hunting wild boar. Whereas I could have gotten away with this in most Scottish villages, apparently this is an inappropriate weekend activity for Edinburgh city centre.

Domaine de Montcy Cour-Cheverny 2014

Happily a cure was to hand, and after a couple of glasses of Cour-Cheverny on Sunday evening all my symptoms had subsided. The better the example of Cour-Cheverny taken to alleviate the deficiency, the quicker the symptoms subside, and so I was fortunate on two counts. First, the Loire Valley has enjoyed two successful vintages in a row, 2014 and 2015, with the former of these vintages engendering a tense, fruit-rich style but with a delightful acid twang for balance in many regions. This is certainly the case with many wines made from the early-ripening varieties (Melon de Bourgogne, Sauvignon Blanc and similar), but it is also the case with the later-ripening varieties (not only Chenin Blanc but Romorantin too). Second, there are a good number of vignerons turning out top-quality wines to choose from, and Laura Semeria of Domaine de Montcy is one of them.

The 2014 Cour-Cheverny from Domaine de Montcy has a very pale, light-straw hue in the glass. I found purity but also a very confident fruit expression on the nose, with a really pithy citric seam to it, the bouquet brimming with scents of tangerine and grapefruit, but alongside this there are little softening notes of vanilla cream, pine kernel and peach skin. The palate has all the juicy fruit-rich confidence suggested by the nose, and which we should expect from the vintage I think, with clean citrus fruit tones running through a spring-water palate, with the same pithy bitterness suggested aromatically. For young Romorantin, traditionally regarded as a variety which needs time in the cellar to show its best (like Chenin Blanc, being a late-ripener it tends to be defined by its acidity) this is really superb, tense and filled with defined fruit, but also balanced, interesting and true. The finish is packed with energy and potential. An absolutely top class wine, and it has been enough to stave off all my symptoms, for the time being I hope. Now, where’s my silk jacket? 17.5/20 (1/8/16)

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