Chenin Blanc from Jasnieres




We had such a delicious, fascinating wine last weekend, we thought we absolutely had to share it here. There was only one problem however: we had trouble figuring out how to describe it. We were not the only ones: a quick search showed that Chris of the excellent Full Pour wine blog felt exactly the same about this gem from the obscure Jasnières wine area.

We thought about it some more and eventually stumbled upon a Joan Rivers quote in which she described a pop singer’s look as “If Elvis and Elvira had a kid, this would be it.” Looking at the picture of the singer, then at our bottle, we suddenly had a flash: this is it!  If Chablis and Sancerre had a love child, this is how it would taste

On the nose, this Chenin Blanc has a light smell of lemon drop along with some delicate floral notes… maybe lavender? The mouthfeel is relatively full and rounded and has a surprising sweetness in the mid-palate. The only thing we could compare it to was candied Granny Smith apple mixed with Lemonheads.

Not only is this a fantastic bottle but it is also made by the kind of winemaker that we love to encourage. Pascal Janvier is a man who makes wine by passion and works hard to do so. He was not born into a winemaking family and studied his art in a specialized Loire high school in the early 1990s. He bought 9 hectares – minuscule by most standards – and 210 cases of his wine (2520 bottles) are now distributed stateside.

If you are tired of Chardonnay but enjoy its fresh and fruity citrus flavors, this is a great alternative. It is beautiful on its own and really does not need food. Perfect to celebrate the spring, this would be a great late afternoon drink wonderful in a sunny garden or on a roof terrace, ideally paired with nothing more than a warm sweater and a blue sky.

Pascal Janvier Jasnières 2008 | $22 at Dandelion Wines, 153 Franklin Street, Brooklyn.

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  • Paris by Mouth

    Great post!

    Here's a heads up for Maggie or any readers in Paris: I just read that there's a Chenin Blanc tasting tonight at Spring Boutique. 5 euros to try a whole range of their favorite bottles.

  • Sive

    I'm going to make it my mission to get a bottle of this at the weekend and try it out. I'm a big Burgundy Chablis fan but not that keen on the cat pee side of Sauvignon Blanc so this sounds like it could be a goer. Thanks for the heads up.

  • mizmaggieb

    "the cat pee side of Sauvignon Blanc" — You've just given me an image I will have in my head all day, thank you very much, Sive!! 😉

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