Jay here with this week’s wine feature - There are several ways to pick out a wine when browsing, and we all have our habits. You can seek out a favorite varietal, time-tested producer, or even (admit it) a pretty label. Yet in the same way you might pay attention to films released by A24 or albums released by 4AD, it also pays to remember the importers of the wines you love. A new importer that has come to our attention is Mary Taylor Wines, who focuses on providing easily identifiable and value-conscious wines from regions around the world. Only a few have come into the central Ohio market, so today I want to focus on one producer they work with in particular, Pascal Biotteau. Located in Anjou, a versatile subregion of France’s Loire Valley, Pascal and his family have been bottling unique wines of the region for four generations, and this vintage’s selections are worthy of discussion.
2019 Biotteau Anjou Blanc
The 2019 Biotteau Anjou Blanc first opens with an inviting aroma of sea air and chamomile. On the palate you find apricot and honey, but with no lingering sweetness and instead a pleasant mineral finish. Whites produced in this region can be crisp or full-bodied depending on the limestone or volcanic soil, yet this 100% Chenin Blanc is sourced from vineyards right along the divide, giving a beautiful composite of what this area has to offer. Excellent with raclette and chicken pesto pasta (trust me, I made sure of it).
2019 Biotteau Anjou Rouge
The 2019 Biotteau Anjou Rouge is mostly Cabernet Franc, known there as Breton, with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon for depth. A step up from your usual French table wine, and once again sourced along the border of slate and chalk soils to give a complete picture of the region. It greets you with aromas of raspberry, tobacco, and a touch of tarragon, then the fruit profile on the palate is deep enough to remind one of dark cherry and plum. The finish lingers with a lovely touch of smoke that begs for a pairing of rotisserie chicken or duck confit (experiment forthcoming). The most exciting part is that these terroir-driven wines that showcase a lesser-known region are only $14.99 a bottle, showing that Mary Taylor Wines is an importer after my own heart and my hard-earned dollars. Expected in Friday, let us know what we can set aside for you. Thanks!