Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Henri Poiron 2007 Vin de Pays Domaine des Quatre Routes, Loire Valley

This is an uninspiring wine that cost me just a few bucks but gave me a wealth of lessons learned. Sometimes I need that.
I bagged this wine during a clearance at The Andersons. This annual sale after the big holiday season can be the equivalent of Black Friday for the wine lover – great wines at bargain basement prices.
This was purchased a couple years ago. Even then, the 2007 vintage gave me a little bit of pause.
For whatever reason this bottle continued to sit in my cellar adding aging it clearly didn’t need. It wasn’t opened until I decided it was now or never – and that was three years after its prime drinking window.
The wine itself is a Cab Franc from the Loire Valley and it came across very flat and simple with a heavy dose of green pepper. What it failed to deliver in flavor, though, it delivered in nuggets of knowledge:
  • The Loire Valley produces great wines, but they are designed to drink young (within three years of vintage).
  • The Vin de Pays (country wine) is a cool designation for French wines that don’t qualify for the top (AOC) designation, but are better than those classified as table wine. They can carry a regional designation and are subject to some quality testing.
  • The cheaper the wine (I paid $6 for this bargain) the less the aging potential.
  • Keep a close eye on the drinking window of your wines.
My new strategy is to aim higher pricewise during these closeout sales. Whereas before I would pack a case with interesting wines being closed out in the $10 to $15 range, I now look for wines in the $30 range that are marked down to the $20 range. I’m content with fewer bottles of higher quality.
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