Wednesday, March 31, 2004

From Anjou to Piedmont.

It was a pretty good week (ie. short) as I returned from a week in Jamaica with the Foam Riders. Fooooooam Riders! But already I digress.

The highlight this week was once again a white.

The Whites.

Anjou 2001, Les Bonnes Blanches, Domaine Mosse
An extraordinary white from the Loire. 100% Chenin Blanc and while I normally go for a hint of sweetness in my better Chenins, this bottle blew me away. Rich, dry and ripe with none of that overly lemony acidity that one often encounters with concentrated Chenin Blancs in their youth. There was a hint of oxidation that I believe was totally intended and that's what keeps it fresh and beautifully offsets the almost creamy texture. A definite white to drink at night with perhaps a thick sauced fish dish.
price: around $40

Saint-Bris 2002, Domaine Goisot
The only Sauvignon Blanc in Burgundy, the appelation of Saint-Bris was confirmed only a couple of years ago. This was my first time and I will gladly lead the bandwagon. Not quite the toe curling acidity of good Sancerre but with enough to keep it fresh, especially considering the ripeness of it's fruit (pears, pears, pears). It reminded me of a Sauvignon from Italy with none of that oppressive wood one finds in the Californians. Elegant, rich and fresh... try with goat cheese and asparagus (it's got just enough grassiness)... would be great with a plate of oysters.
rating: very worthy

Quick Sips highlights
Champagne, Bruno Paillard 1995... never been a massive fan of Champagne but this relatively inexpensive Grand Cuvée is well worth the cash.
Were Dreams Now it is Just Wine 1999, Silvio Jermann... I tried the 99 a year ago and found the wood a little too over the top. A great 100% Chardonnay from North Eastern Italy, slightly fennel in the nose but deceptively rich, almost fat. A bit too expensive for the oddity that it is but I look forward to tasting it again this summer.
Malvasia Bianca 2002, Ca del Solo I found a bottle in our fridge...Nice as an apero but a bit too busy to drink with food. Slighly yahoo, very californian.

The Reds

Langhe D.o.c., Sito Moresco 1996, Gaja It's not often that I taste (or enjoy) Nebbiolo, but after discovering this a couple of weeks ago, I have a new found interest in the region. Nebiolo is a tough piece of beef of a grape and takes a while to tenderize(even when mixed with cab and merlot). The 96 Sito Moresco has a wild cherry nose with a mushroomy earthiness in the mouth... both exciting if not slighty incongruate. Still with good tannins, I tried it with lamb but really wanted a piece of deer or caribou in a juniper berry sauce.
price(back in 99):$40
rating: worth the cellar time

Fleurie 2002, Yvon Métras
The 2001 redefined the way I percieve Beaujolais and while my first bottle of the 2002 did not quite have the same impact (perhaps transportation shock or just the feeble year that 02 was), it's still great. With almost no sulfites, natural yeasts, this is Gamay in it's purest expression... tons of fruit, almost an animal quality but still soft and flowery. I like to drink it around a campfire at night but i drank a 2001 with a not too spicy merguez plate and it held it's own
price:around $30
rating: very worthy

Quick Sips Highlights
Ninquen, Cabernet Sauvignon 2000, Vina Montgras A Chilean wine to surprise those folks who say they don't like Chilean wine. French Oak, not overly jammy but with rich cassis and red berry flavors and a hint of kirsch for a finale... I've been tasting this vintage for almost a year now and I found the last bottle a bit soft... time to drink em up.
Chianti Classico 1999, Riserva, Tenute Marchese Antinori The Chianti Antinori makes with the rest of the Super Tuscan grapes... Caraffed it for an hour before drinking and found it less tannic than previous tastings but still a bit thin on the fruit.

Okay the first is done... if you have any ideas or comments on how to better structure this .... please feel free.

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