The Domaine de la Butte 2007 Pied de la Butte is the second wine I've tried from this producer, with the first being a 2006 from a different portion of the Domaine's vineyards. I enjoyed the 2006 Perrieres, but the Pied de la Butte sees no barrel aging and is from the potentially tougher 2007 vintage.
The verdict: I really liked this wine. The nose is very green, as was the case with two other 2007s I've tried from the Loire Valley, but it came across as fresh tobacco, not weediness. Maybe I was in the right mood this time, or maybe this was a different sort of green than the other 2007s showed. Either way, it seemed to fit. The palate also seemed better balanced, with the high acidity offset by deeper berry flavors. In fact, the wine tasted slightly off-dry to me, a balancing technique often employed with high-acid white wines. Since the vigneron Jacky Blot is known primarily for his Chenin Blanc, which is made in a variety of styles with residual sugar, I wouldn't be surprised if he left a little RS to offset the tart acids. The finish rounded everything out with more earthy bitterness, tobacco and a dose of young tannins.
While not a deep wine, I enjoyed the mix of greenness, richness and freshness. At $16, this would be a re-buy for me. It might even be an interesting experiment in aging to see if the fresh tobacco takes on more of a cigar-like quality in time. If age dries out fruit flavors, why not tobacco flavors as well? Aging questions aside, Domaine de la Butte is on my "buy on sight" list now.
Pros: Tobacco, Rich Yet Acidic, Earthy Finish
Cons: One-Dimensional Bouquet
Decant: Yes, tons of sediment in bottle
Price: $16 from K&L Wines
QPR: Good/Excellent (out of Poor, Mediocre, Fair, Good or Excellent with Fair denoting expectations were met for the price point)