The 1997 Pithon, Jo Coteaux du Layon St Lambert Cuvee Ambroisie 500 ml is from the Coteaux du Layon region of Loire.
wa97Wine Advocate 97 points
The 1997 Coteaux du Layon St.-Lambert Clos des Bonnes Blanches Ambroisie is sweet, dense, and complex. It has a brownish, amber color, aromas of cherries bathed in molasses, and a jellied texture. Cumin, saffron, and loads of other assorted spices are intertwined with viscous red, white, and yellow fruit compotes. It saturates the palate with sugar (420 grams per liter!). Attempting to taste this "wine" is akin to putting a spoonful of honey in your mouth. Projected maturity: now-2006. As one of the "sugar hunters", there is no doubting the extraordinary, absolutely mind-boggling, levels of ripeness he attains, nor the tireless work that goes into every wine crafted at this estate. However, the question must be posed, is this wine or syrup? It reaches humongous levels of residual sugar, yet does it possess adequate balancing alcohol or acidity? This wine is heavy, plodding, and syrupy. It has more in common with a sweet Sherry such as Lustau's Pedro Jimenez than with other sweet Loire Valley wines. My instincts suggest that this wine will evolve quickly. It already shows gold, amber, even brown colors and reveals some evolved flavors such as molasses. This being said, Pithon and his colleagues should be applauded for attempting to push the quality envelope. Rival growers and wine bureaucrats who are trying to institute "typicity" rules to exclude "sugar hunters" from inclusion within the appellation are working against the best interests of consumers. Lets permit the marketplace to render judgement on these distinctive wines! Importer: Vinifrance Imports, Olivier Daubresse Selections, Arlington, VA; tel (703) 271-6185.- Pierre Rovani (08/1999)