Two Hard Rockin’ Wines
The notion of ‘minerality’ is the most important non-climactic effect on terroir. At the core of the argument is wether or not the vine has the capacity to translate sub soil minerals into flavours and aromas. There is, however, no argument that the taste and smell of ‘minerality’ does exist in a vast majority of wines, and that there are subtle differences in it’s expression depending on grape and region. German Riesling, Chablis, Loire Chenin and a couple of Morgon’s I have tasted are in fact defined by this expression. Does it exist or is it simply due to a ‘lack of fruitiness?’ While I firmly believe that the climactic component of terroir is real and undeniable, the way a soil expresses itself via the vine is much less evident. However, I am way too tired to care these days so I will choose to follow my heart and believe. T’ is the season.
So if you want to taste the rock, here are two fantastic examples. Happy holidays everyone.
Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine 2003, Expression de Granite, Domaine de l’Ecu ($20...saq)
It was damp and dark, full of black stones with hints of pear and grapefruit on opening the bottle. But it was far from tough, it was almost soothing. The seeming incongruence between length and dryness threw me for a bit, but as the wine opened up, I was reminded of a pear tree in full flower in a field of clover on a cool spring day. Pure and delicious, it is the perfect accompaniment for a couple dozen raw oysters or a plate of mussels.
Chablis Grand Cru 1999, La Moutonne, Domaine Long Depaquit ($83...saq)
There was total confusion on the first sip, so much so that I opened a second bottle to be sure. A deep, soft, deafening and profound chalkiness harkened notions of white slate pounded into dust. There existed a bizarre tension between a honeyed richness and a dessert like dustiness, both which went on and on. But as the bottle warmed, white flowers and hints of apple showed themselves, a welcomed bit of brightness. There is no oak to smooth out the corners, just stone, richness and a steely acidity. It reminded me why mythic wines have so justly gained their reputation.