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Denis 1989 Touraine-Azay-le-Rideau Vignes de la Gaillarderie Sec (Loire) – Dirty – in a good way – and fairly high in acid. Unmistakably maturing chenin, yet the minerality is as much aluminum and tin as chalk. Another slight shift is from honeysuckle to pollen-dusted stone fruit skin. So how, exactly, is it “unmistakably chenin?” I’m not sure, but there’s just something about the weight, palate impression, and generally Touraine-evocative aromatics that announce “chenin” with clarity and decision. It’s never wise to suggest that a Loire chenin’s nearing the end of it’s life, and yet I don’t know that this has all that much more development left in it. (Emphasis, in that last sentence, is on the “I don’t know” more than the rest.) (7/09)