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Vignoble Angst

Vignerons are unfortunately full of angst each year about their vignobles (the places where those noble grapes are grown!), particularly in Chablis with its annual bouts with the two G-forces of gelee (frost) and grele (hail).  Those double G-forces are effectively countered by double Angst, however, with the talented team of Antoine & Celine Angst producing beautifully balanced and expressive wines such as their Premier Cru Cote de Jouan, AOC Chablis, and a Bourgogne Blanc each year.

They are a great team as well with their very complementary skills. Antoine studied agriculture and has a degree in winemaking and Celine has a degree in Oenology.  Antoine is particularly proud of his meticulous vineyard management applied to their estate vineyards near Courgis (including both Cote de Jouan and Cote de Cuissy Premier Cru sites) and in Maligny (but which are not vineyards to be maligned!).  The precision and focus in their wines are from a combination of great winemaking skills and their equally meticulous winemaking facility which is tailor-made for small lot fermentation of their very precious Chablis region grapes.

 

The result is very fully flavored and food friendly Chablis and Bourgogne Blanc wines.  Below the pictures are tasting notes along with food pairing ideas for their wines that I am importing.

A gnarled old Chardonnay vine - and you can see the broken limestone that gives Chablis its minerality

A view of the Angst's Cote de Jouan Premier Cru site

Small batch fermentation tanks for concentrated flavors

Celine et Antoine

The Wines

Chablis Cote de Jouan Premier Cru 2017

This is a very "big" Cote de Jouan with medium to full body which saturates your tongue and palate with complex flavors, refreshing minerality, and bracing acidity.  Aromas of wildflower honey, honeysuckle, and mild apples are complemented by hints of almonds, peaches, and chalk.  Flavors include meyer lemon, grapefruit, clover honey, and honeydew melon and are perfectly framed with the classic saline notes of a great Chablis.

This is very versatile with food and pairings would include sea bass, swordfish, lobster, scallops, sole meuniere, baked chicken, chicken stirfry, korma curries, Thai coconut curries, more refined "Indian" food such as Nepalese food,  anything with lemongrass, sweet and sour soup, grilled or sautéed vegetables, vegetable tart, and mild or creamy cheeses.

The wine is produced from very carefully selected grapes from 30 year old vines and is matured on its lees until bottling.  I have a lot of experience aging Chablis and I think this wine will age very well for at least ten to 12 years.

Chablis AOC 2017

This is a delightful and refreshing AOC Chablis with a strong core of fruit.  Initial aromas of apple, white peaches, apricots, white flowers, and hints of pear, quince, and cream progress into flavors of peach, apricot, honeydew melon, and quince.  Initially, the wine seems medium bodied with perfect balance but then evolves into a very fully flavored and memorable finish.  Overall, this is very refreshing and has perfect acidity.

Food pairings would include sole, sea bass, lobster, crab, swordfish, salmon, grilled tuna, veal/wienerschnitzel, chicken cordon bleu, lobster bisque, onion soup, potatoes au gratin, frittatas, caviar, sushi, and mild cheeses.  Another suggestion, however, is that this is also just delightful to sip on while enjoying friends or reading a good book.

This is also produced from grapes grown on 30 year old vines and is matured on its lees until bottling.  Although delightful to enjoy now, the full flavor profile could also result in some delightful surprises if aged over six to eight years.

Petit Chablis 2018

 

This is an interesting Petit Chablis as 40 percent of the fruit is from younger vines in the Angst’s Chablis AOC vineyards.  As such, the wine has a richness and minerality that distinguishes it from typical Petit Chablis wines.  Aromas are of honey, white flowers, linden, honeydew melon, and a hint of ripe canteloupe.  There is very refreshing minerality along with flavors of honeydew melon, freshly picked pears, and mild apples along with hints of cherries and ripe strawberries.  There is a perfectly balanced medium body but which seems more fully bodied from the wine having been matured on its lees.

 

Food pairings are quite versatile and would include crab, halibut, seafood salads and pasta dishes, chicken, veal, pork, creamy pasta dishes, mild curries, Asian noodle dishes, Asian chicken, pork, and vegetable stir frys, pork verde, creamy Mexican dishes, and mild cheeses.  

Bourgogne Blanc "Chasse Margotte" 2016

This is the equivalent of a very good Cote de Beaune Bourgogne Blanc but is produced completely with Auxerrois and Tonnerrois grapes.  Initial aromas of honeysuckle, white flowers, and apple blossoms evolve into flavors of white peach, mild apples, and honeydew melon along with hints of pear, mild honey, Meyer lemon, and even some "buttery" notes although this is vinified entirely in stainless steel.

Food pairings are extensive and would include sole, sea bass, scallops, halibut, trout, swordfish, lobster bisque, crab wontons, baked chicken, chicken cordon bleu, wienerschnitzel, pork cutlets, mild curries, onion soup, sautéed squashes and root vegetables, quiche, green salads (especially with arugula), various fruit desserts such as poached pears, pear and apple tarts, almond based desserts, and a wide variety of cheese including rich cheeses and most goat and sheep cheeses.