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Male Chauvigné pig

Richou 2005 Anjou “Chauvigné” (Loire) – Peppery greenness and grass lead off here, but with enough air the atmosphere turns to chalk and (dry) honey, with the dominant and binding characteristic being a strong aroma of aspirin. Loire fans will know what I mean, and this definitely seems to be a triumph of soil over cépage, though do note that it’s a pretty low-volume wine (by which I don’t mean the case production). (3/08)

4 paths diverged in a wood

Richou 2006 Anjou “Les 4 Chemins” (Loire) – Very angry and numbed when first opened. But the more air it gets, the better it tastes. Eventually, there’s wedge-shaped fruit – black and red berries that don’t quite achieve the exuberance of cherries – around which is wrapped a fine, ripe garland of thyme. The balance is excellent, and this appears to have the structure for short-term aging. (2/08)