A great Savennières, plus a poetic description.
I highly enjoyed drinking the 2004 Joly's Clos de la Coulée de Serrant and at the same time reading it's description in the 2007 Guide Hachette.
Following passage Copyright 2006 by Hachette Livre, Paris.
"Le fleuron de la propriété de Nicolas Joly: une petite enclave soumise directement au mésoclimat de la Loire, plantée au XII ème siècle par cet "ordre vigneron" que constituèrent les cisterciens, et dont les vins furent célébrés par Louis XI, Louis XIV, puis par l'impératrice Joséphine. Sur les pentes éscarpées de la Coulée de Serrant, nul tracteur n' accède: tout est fait à la main d'homme, aidé à l'occasion par son meilleur ami, et selon les principes de la biodynamie. Au chai, la recherche d'un vin authentique: ni levures exogènes, ni débourbage, ni collage, ni passage au froid, très peu de bois neuf. Pour un 2004 jaune d'or intense, aux arômes puissants d'abricot sec, de prune cuite et de fruits macérés à l'alcool. À la fois majestueuse et délicate, la très belle bouche semble avoir capté la douce luminosité des bords de Loire."
My translation ( weak, with significant loss of flavor ) :
The crown-jewel of Nicolas Joly's properties: a small enclave, directly subjected to the Loire's micro climate, planted in the 12th century by that "wine growing order" constituted by the Cistercian monks, whose wines were celebrated by Louis XI, Louis XIV and the empress Josephine. No tractors on the steep slopes of the Coulée de Serrant: everything is done by hand, with the eventual help of dogs, and following the principles of biodynamic. At the winery, the search for an authentic wine: no foreign yeasts, no debourbage (1), no fining, no filtration, very little new wood. Producing a 2004 of an intense golden yellow, powerful aromas of dry apricot, stewed prunes and fruits macerated in alcohol. At the same time majestic and delicate, its beautiful mouth feel seems to have captured the suave luminosity of the Loire's shores.
(1) The process of allowing white wine must to settle prior to racking off the wine, thereby reducing the need for fining or filtration.
I take most tasting notes with a grain of salt... I have tried Joly's wines on several occasions with mixed results; some have been a sheer delight and others have been downright puzzling; I haven't tasted to the 2004 Joly, so I can't comment on this particualr wine. I can say that the wines of Savennieres are definitely not about fruit (not always a bad thing), they are about structure and minerality and IMO are best enjoyed with a few to several years of bottle age. I will go on to add that IMO, 2004 is quite a favorable year for Loire Valley white wines.
re: Vinny Barbaresco
*"everything is done by hand, with the eventual help of dogs"
lol. it's just kind of the winegrowers' expression of a barn-raising.
"dog" is "chien" and the french don't really have an idiomatic equivalent to "man's best friend."
with some age, joly's wines are stunning. in youth, they can be awkward and a bit clumsy, still searching for definition of self. yet with time they even out to deep grace, with aromas like wet river stones and honeysuckle. glorious.