Wine Blog Wednesday #7
Near Delerium with Patapon
For my regular ‘non-blogging’ readership, wineblog Wednesday is a forum for all of blogdom to get together and jam on some wine related topic. Number 7 is the bizarre cépage, a grape that either has fallen out of favor with today’s viticultural tastes or hails from some obscure wine making country. Ultimately my choice was helped by our host Andrew at Spittoon ,who in his efforts to eliminate one of my favorite wine making regions jogged a memory of a wonderful bottle(s) that I drank in NewYork last autumn. So here’s to the Loire and the Pineau D’Aunis.
Patapon 2002, Christian Chaussard
Pineau D’Aunis, also referred to as Chenin Noir, is a black berried grape grown mostly in the Anjou-Saumur area of the Eastern Loire. Apparently it is being pulled up in favor of Cabernet Franc, so leave it to the Vin Nature gang to recognize it’s worth and exploit it’s potential. Served slightly chilled, it has Gamay style fruit but with soft tannins and a spicier finish.
Patapon is a mix of Pineau D’Aunis and Gamay, organic, without sulfites, and the label befits the wine like no label I have ever seen; the scribbled name ‘Patapon’ and a drawing of this disturbing ‘Jack Nicholsonesque’ smiling clown. As we sat down to dinner at the end of a long day of tasting organic wines, my 2 hours of sleep from the previous night was catching up with me. Joe Dressner was opening what seemed an endless variety of great bottles, but despite all the choice, Mike and I hung onto the Patapon as we gorged ourselves on some of the best Vietnamese food I have ever tasted (I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant). As my sleep deprivation cocktailed with the wine, the disturbing clown began to smile at me and Mike and I would scream ‘More Patapouf!,’ and thankfully another bottle was plopped down in front of us.
The great wines, while the details may fade away, linger in that corner of our brains oblivious to excess. Patapon and Pineau D’Aunis, a very worthy member of that club.