Monday, January 18, 2010
Highlights From A French Wine Weekend
This weekend just so happened to be a big French wine weekend at The Wine Country, first there was the Intro to French Wine class on Friday night and then Saturday afternoon we featured Cru Beaujolais and Value red Burgundy. So while I was a bit stressed on Friday, (newsletter stuff and I was nervous about doing my first ever joint class with Randy. We had never done a class together before and as I have mentioned here, like a million times…I am NOT a good teacher, Randy on the other hand, a great one. I was just so worried that I was going to be standing there looking like a complete idiot) it was all washed away with the aromas and flavors of a palate tour through the major wine growing regions of France. That and the crowd was truly enthralled with Randy’s presentation, many of which have a new found appreciation for those wines that I so adore…Randy has a gift I shall never posses…hell, he is the one that taught me. I left that evening full of inspiration, from the people willing to listen and open their minds to a whole new way of thinking about wine, about my boss’s ability to reach people and from tasting wines that were so pure, so beautifully balanced and that radiated their place…damn, I dig that.
We featured fifteen wines on Friday night, and nine on Saturday, would have been ten had we not had a last minute phone call asking if we would like to have Fred Scherrer come and pour at The Wine Country Saturday afternoon, um…yeah. So we dropped a bottle of Burgundy and poured four of the Scherrer wines, (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet and Zinfandel) and I gotta tell ya, even after tasting Beaujolais and Burgundy all afternoon, I really dug Fred’s wines. I found the Chardonnay full and focused with plenty of acidity, the Zinfandel while not my favorite varietal, was full of that spicy Zin flavor but did not assault my palate in anyway….well, other than it being a Zinfandel, not its fault. I thought the Pinot was out and out lovely, juicy primary fruit, pure Pinot Noir flavor, quite balanced and really easy to drink. To top it off, Fred was a really cool guy that even stayed after the tasting and sampled some of the wines we had open from the night before. Ended up being a fantastic weekend overall, the wines were just stunning and I felt that they deserved to be showcased one last time.
2007 Francois Chidaine Montlouis Les Tuffeaux, ($23.99) seems like every time we showcase a wine from Francois Chidaine it sells out, Friday night was no different. Ripe, round, succulent and the perfect combination of fruit and minerals. A wine of brilliant texture and balance that begs for pork, cheese, roast chicken or one more glass.
2008 Domaine Clape Les Vin des Amis, ($20.99) this wine even knocked Fred Scherrer on his ass. When Syrah is this pure and perfect…nothing can touch it. Violets, black pepper, minerals and black fruit with a friendly mouth feel and long refreshing finish. Seek this out…seriously.
2007 Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape, ($61.99) yeah, at this price it had better be good…was! I’ve grown so weary of the trend in Rhone to crank out big gooey wines with deep extraction and tons of oak, wines that taste like they could have come from anywhere…just burns my ass but thankfully producers like this are still making wines with some restraint. Red fruit, wild herbs, with something somewhat savory mid palate. Big, big flavor without be clunked up or squished with oak, a very lovely offering that I would love to watch evolve over the next five years.
2008 Lapierre Morgon, ($22.99) this seemed to be a love it or hate it wine for people on Saturday afternoon. I was in the love it camp, this wine is so sultry, so fucking sexy…it just wrecks me. Going from Beaujolais to Beaujolais, loving them for their bright fruit and easy drinkability and then smelling this wine?! Gave me one of those, “Well hello there, how you doin’” moments. Wild strawberry, cooking spice and smoky meaty flavors…unlike the others in a way that drives me wild.
2007 Dominique Piron Brouilly, ($16.99) best vintage I have had from this favorite estate, hands-down, Bright perky fruit, tons of flavor, light weight and that zingy little snap that makes you long for another sip. If you’re going to buy one, get two….trust me.
2006 Pierre Guillemont Savigny-Serpentieres 1er Cru, ($29.99) um, can you say, “Stoopid Value”?! Cooked red fruit, sexy smoke, faint minerals and a creamy, slightly vanilla-like finish…bring on the roast beef, lamb chops or baked chicken.
2007 Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet Monthelie, ($26.99) this has been one of my favorite little Burgundies for that past few years, just so damned friendly. Bright red cherries, gentle earthiness and minerals with a pop of cranberry like tanginess. One sip leads to another….and another and, well you get it. Giant flavor without giant palate staining texture