2005 Philippe Delesvaux "Sélection de Grains Nobles" Coteaux du Layon (500ml)
Very lush and racy at the same time, this starts with creamy layers of mango and papaya before giving way to persimmon, fig paste and crème brûlée notes, all carried by well-embedded acidity. The superlong finish lets date, spice cake and green tea notes linger endlessly. Yet another classic for this amazing wine.
Philippe Delesvaux, a Parisian, was not born into viticulture but came to the vine while working on his agricultural studies on a cereal farm in the Loire Valley in the early 1980s. By 1983 he had purchased some vineyards and was working out of a shed in Anjou producing some of the most concentrated botrytis wines the area had ever seen. His philosophy is simple, "A good wine cannot be made without good grapes. The wines are born of the grape, and nothing but the grape." To this end he works biodynamically in the vineyards and naturally in the cellar, using wild yeast fermentations to fully capture the essence of Anjou. The Selection de Grains Nobles is produced only from hand picked, 100% botrytised Chenin Blanc from vines averaging 40 years of age which are planted to soils containing sedimentary rock, slate and coal. The genius of Delesvaux is his ability to produce extremely concentrated and soil-expressive botrytised wines that are never cloying or heavy, but are rejuvenating and light on their feet.