I honestly didn't have any plans to write a review on this wine let alone pump out an image, so excuse the brevity of this post. If nothing else it provides a little exercise.
I originally had this wine while at an event at Rouge et Blanc, a great French-Vietnamese restaurant in the West village. I sampled the entire line of Vincent's wines sans the Cremant. Here the Pinot Blanc showed wonderfully, it intrigued me: it sung of fruit, a little fatness and an interwoven minerality. Back at home, I recalled having put aside a bottle of this hoping to recapture that magic; it was a wine I decided to open without feeling like I was compromising the collection I've built and feeling like I wasn't opening something that requires contemplation. Suffice it to say, although I've had the line of wines from Domaine Agape and can't find anything particularly wrong with them -they're clean and clear expressions of their varietals from a classic appellation- I found myself a little bored by this wine.
I was pleased yet uninspired, like gazing upon something beautiful and on approach discovering that all the shine was a veil leaving you wanting. The wines are well made, no doubt about it, the nose of each approaches the perfection found exuding from classical Roman beauty - slightly statuesque with an almost voluptuous quality without being quite overdone and reading straight through into exactly what the wine is. Yet over the course of the night and the next day, the wine continued to have this vigorous acidity that essentially dominated the experience to the point where the scents of fruit and flower (the little that I could gather, the nose was fleeting), attempting to act as a counterbalance, were only deflected in the opposite direction and left me with an awkward aftertaste. The wine wasn't spoiled, perhaps it was an off bottle and maybe speaks more to how wine can give almost opposing experiences in time, or how a wines can have a bit of bottle variation or expression variation; it's certainly something winegrowers, importers, retailers and then the consumer come face-to-face with and have to understand: wine is a living chemical that will not always be in its prime or even the same overtime, arguably this is part of the thrill of experiencing wine.
For a little history, Alsace has been traded between the French and the Germans as a territory for a number of centuries, they share everything from history, to viticulture, labeling practices and my love for Riesling and Gewurztraminer. If I haven't mentioned it before, it was as an Alsatian Gewurztraminer from Domaine Paul Blanck that awakened my senses to this grape and to wine in general. So there is a soft spot for Alsace or at least a high bar perhaps for wines from this region.
Domaine Agape works organically, encompasses 10 hectares with up to one-third dedicated to grand crus; located in Riquewhir with plantings of grasses between the rows, the grapes are harvested manually with whole pressing of the grapes from vineyards in Riquewhir and Ribeauville; a slow fermentation follows in traditional oval barrels and then steel tanks with aging on the lees. I've tasted the entire line of wines from this estate, some show better than others (Riesling, Grand Cru) but the Pinot Blanc for some reason fell flat to me.
On a separate occasion this wine was opened and thought I wasn't able to sit with it long, it showed as I first knew it: a little fat, some orange creme notes, and soft white flowers.
I would love to try Vincent's wines side-by-side, even venture into his Pinot Noir, to get a better feel for what these wines are made of.
Importer: Savio Soares Selections