DOMAINE DE LA TAILLE AUX LOUPS | “Les Hauts de Husseau” Montlouis 2015

(Montlouis sur Loire, Loire Valley, France) $30

Montlouis (and Vouvray) in France’s Loire Valley make the world’s greatest chenin blancs—wines of intensity and such crispness they almost seem crunchy. (Phenomenally fresh on a hot night). In France, such snappiness is sometimes called nervosité which translates as “nervy,” but what is really meant is a kind of kinetic energy (tasting is believing). Domaine de la Taille aux Loups (domaine of the wood where the wolves gather) is owned by Jacky Blot, one of the most extraordinary producers of bone dry chenin blanc with all of its natural acidity (no malolactic fermentation). The vines that make this stellar white are 70 years old. (12.5% abv)

94 points KM

Available at Hi-Time Wine Cellars

More Wines to Know…

The term Rutherford Dust refers to:

A.  The pulverized volcanic material found in the soils of the Rutherford appellation within the Napa Valley
B.  The dirt (and in summer, very dusty) roads that were built in the late 1870s in order to construct Inglenook, the palatial chateau-style winery founded in 1879 by Gustave Niebaum in Rutherford in the Napa Valley
C.  The unique dirt-like smell and taste of the wines made in the Rutherford appellation of the Napa Valley
D.  The grainy sediment found in well-aged bottles of cabernet sauvignon from the Rutherford appellation of the Napa Valley


Here’s the answer…

Toast the Revolution

To celebrate the 229th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille (a turning point in the French Revolution), consider popping open the most beautiful Champagne bottle ever designed—Perrier-Jouët’s Art Nouveau-style “flower bottle.”  The bottle, decorated with enameled anemones, was first designed in 1902 by glassmaker Emile Gallé as an homage to La Belle Époque (the artistic period from the late 1800s to 1914). However, due to the difficulty making them, the bottles were soon abandoned.  In the early 1960s, Pierre Ernst, former president of Perrier-Jouët, found an enamel specialist who could manufacture the bottles en masse. The modern version of the flower bottle premiered in 1969 and held the 1964 vintage of the House’s prestige cuvee called Belle Epoque. In 2012, a hundred years after its creation, the famous flower bottle was updated by Japanese floral designer Makoto Azuma, who added golden vines and delicate dotted flowers to the classic pattern.

During the French Renaissance, a sommelier’s job involved risking his life. 

Answer: True. During the French Renaissance (a period between the 15th and early 17th centuries), a sommelier (so-mel-YAY) bought the title and paid to become part of the retinue of the king or of a nobleman. The sommelier was responsible for stocking food and wine for journeys in a carriage called a somme. However, simply stocking provisions was not the sommelier’s most important job—keeping his lord alive was. By taking a bite of each dish and a sip from every goblet of wine before it was presented to his lord, the sommelier performed a life-saving service. Needless to say, while being a sommelier isn’t easy, modern-day somms do not work in quite such hazardous conditions.

Wine Labels


​A type of restaurant in Lyon, France, known for serving traditional Lyonnaise dishes, which are often rich and hearty. The goal of a bouchon is not haute cuisine but a friendly and personal atmosphere. There are about 20 certified bouchons in Lyon, although many more proclaim themselves to be. A bouchon also refers to a stopper for a wine bottle, most often a sparkling wine or Champagne, as it prevents the bubbles from escaping.


Phillip L., from Guatemala, wrote:“I thoroughly enjoyed the May 10, 2018 WineSpeed where you discussed whether women are better at tasting wine than men. Aside from the reasons you included, I would like to suggest another: women in general are more connected to their emotions than men. Our emotions and our memories are closely linked. We don’t notice it because it is very subtle, but every new smell we encounter registers an emotion as well. Therefore, if you are a person in touch with your emotions, you can distinguish many more aromas than someone who [is] not. And since, in general, women have the ability of feeling and identifying many more emotions than men, they can also recall more aromas.”