Michael and I last night celebrated our 13 year wedding anniversary (and 15 years since I moved to New Zealand). We celebrated with a wine that is 26 years old -- the Marc Bredif Vouvray Grande Annee 1988 and one that is probably my all-time-favourite wine (as is Michael's as you can see below).
Vouvray makes arguably the best Chenin Blanc wines in the world, based in the heart of the Loire valley next to the city of Tours. Aged examples demonstrate exquisite texture, power and complexity. The Marc Bredif Grande Annee is made only in exceptional years and 1988 was obviously an amazing one.
This wine was actually released for sale in 2012 -- there are not many wine producers who are willing to forgo 23 years of revenue in the interest of ensuring that the consumer does not drink the wine before it is ready.
Michael's tasting note says it all: "Extravagant wine for a special occasion, complex nose of lanolin, honeysuckle, and lemon. Full and lush palate, very expressive with stonefruit, fig and citrus flavours, unctuous and fat textured wine with a very long finish. A real treat, can be enjoyed now but will easily go another decade with willpower. Possibly Michael's favourite wine... ever."
Chenin Blanc traditionally shines when served with cream sauces. So of course, we had to take up the challenge. Michael made a scrumtious dinner of a three cheese and cream potato gratin and sauteed chicken in creamy lemon and garlic sauce. (Yes, I had a years worth of fat calories in one night!) The wine came alive with this food pairing -- adding a bit of sweetness and rich texture akin to a dessert wine. This wine was so easy to drink!
And although the wine is a little pricey at $75 -- this is the most amazing value when you think about how much love, attention, and time it has gotten from the winery as well as how much enjoyment it has given to two absolute wine snobs.
We have another Marc Bredif Grand Annee in our cellar from 1976. This is Michael's vintage year so we are saving it for Michael's next big 0 birthday celebration. I will let you guess which big birthday that one is!