Manoir Tete de la Rouge Chapitre Anjou 2009

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It is an odd aesthetic pursuit that is both constrained and liberated by its inputs. The democratization of knowledge came with the printing press, a technology that enabled a nearly free medium to link artist to reader. Commerce flourished with this democratization and enabled an exponential rise of the artist class. The tortured soul was given an audience.

Since recording technology was invented, music has followed a similar trajectory, allowing me to listen to the brilliance of John Coltrane and Duke Ellington as I write.

Visual art (other than film), in contrast, has almost entirely remained the province of the rich. The physical nature of a painting or an installation defies reproduction, particularly given the lack of technical ability to replicate with authenticity. As such, visual art remains an elite subject, situated in museums or the homes of wealthy patrons. It epitomizes the effect input constraints can have.

Wine is a strange hybrid. Its inputs can be astronomical, tied as they are to agriculture, land costs, wine making and the salaries of the many individuals who participate in a wine’s creation. Wine is costly to make.

Yet these constraints can also liberate. Travel to corners where markets follow only languidly and you will find devalued land and simple tradition. When coupled with the rare passion that inevitably finds home in certain souls, these inputs suddenly become a conduit for expression without the cost constraints of the famous.

All of this to say that this Chenin Blanc from Manoir Tete de la Rouge is stunning, pure, delicious, elegant, and cheap. It smells of crushed apples, popcorn, caramel and minerals and almost overwhelms the palate with its sheer intensity of flavour and powerful, long finish. The nose suggests an off-dry wine, but it finishes very dry on the palate. This is fined and racked and aged in barrel for 11 months before bottling. Organically farmed.

Proof that remarkable wine need not be pricey.

Excellent to Excellent+ and Highly Recommended Value
~$30 at Kits Wine

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