Tuesday, March 08, 2005

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.


Anonymous said...

Dig this post. One of your most stylish yet.

And damned if I've never heard of Pineau D'Aunis (and I thought I had scoured every inch of the Loire map).

I'm building a substantial wine wish list just from reading your blog posts.

Cheers - beau

Andrew said...

An excellent choice! I dont think I have ever come across a Pineau d'Aunis before - one to add to my list of must tries before it disappears altogether.

Thanks for participating in WBW#7 - just compiling the entries now.

Anonymous said...

Great post and great writing. I will definitely be checking back often. I need some serious wine schoolin'.

~molly (www.spicetart.com)

Jenny said...

Patapon is 100% Pineau d'Aunis, just for the record. And the restaurant is called BAO III, 111 Ave. C.
Jenny (the importer-- Jenny & François Selections/World Wide Wine).

caveman said...

Thanks for the clarification jenny... one of my local importers threw the gamay into the mix.. Have you tasted the 03?

rebekah baker said...

Sounds great you were In NY? Drinking Zardetto Proseco as my daughter Iona sleeps soundly think I will too, Rebekah at Rebekah621@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Got a bottle at Astor. Amazing. Will buy a case! Love the hidden bubbliness.

Anonymous said...

Continental Wines, Inc. (Seattle) import a fine range of wines from Vendomois - Maison Colin; in the past they offered Pineau d'Aunis from old vines, and once, a vin Gris of that grape.
email: tlever@continentalwines.com

– Goyo

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