Jour Fruit with Rezin and Bergeron
Tastings are few and far between these days so one must jump on every opportunity that presents itself. I have had a number of comments from local Quebecers as to what is available so I will note SAQ beside the price if they are available locally, that is if you can find a store that is open.
Chardonnay d’Arbois 2000, Terre de Gryphée, Domaine de Tournelle ($24...importation)
I love Jura whites. As they are aged in casks that once held Savignan, they take on certain characteristics of Vin Jaune, particularily a slightly nutty, oxidative quality. Not the richest Chardonnay, but interesting and fun to drink. Aside from a slight Xeres feel, hints of browning apples, as Martin pointed out, notes of pineapple Confit. Organic with next to no sulfites, the prefect match for guineau hen or other exotic fowl.
Jurancon Sec 2002, Cuvée Marie, Charles Hours ($25...importation)
One of my favorites year after year, the SAQ has refused to carry the Cuvée Marie because of tartric acid buildup (think of little flakes of snow like in those christmas figurines). Too bad, because it is consistently one of the better and most interesting whites available. The 2002 is the cleanest and what it may lack in aromatic complexity, it gains in facility. I still have 1999’s that drink wonderfully. Perfect for those coriander based That dishes.
Pinot Gris 2002, Barriques, Ostertag ($31…SAQ)
It seems like Ostertag is leaving more and more residual sugar with each milliseme, which is good. I love his Pinot Gris Franholz with it’s creamy texture and rich palette. I found the Barriques a little thin but all in all a very charming drink. I would drink it as an aperitif with hors d’oeuvres.
Macon-Chaintré 2001, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Valette ($26...SAQ)
One of the newer AOC’s in Burgundy, this was an interesting wine. Typical Macon styling, very, very fresh. Super toasty in the nose with floral notes, almost like sweet apple blossoms. A bit thin after the wood disappeared but this is a nice light chardonnay. A good buy.
Marsannay 2002, Les St-Jacques, Fougeray de Beauclair ($33...SAQ)
Marsannay is the most northern AOC in the Côte de Nuits, and consistently the most reasonably priced. Super dark berries but very tightly wound. This isn’t Chambertin nor is it’s price. I would wait a couple of months for it to mellow a bit.
Coteaux de Languedoc 2002, Montpeyroux, Domaine d’Aupilhac ($24…SAQ)
While 2002 was not the best of years for much of France’s south, there are those who have managed to make decent wine. The Montpeyroux, with it’s 30% Mourvèdre, still manages to be a big wine, though one can feel the autumn rains while one sips. Still, for those who want a big Chateauneuf style wine at a reasonable price, this is great. I would give it an hour in carafe before guzzling away.