Friday, March 13, 2009

Two from the Arbois at Terroir

(fun Dive Bouteille promo image, yes?)

Last night I accomplished what had previously been considered impossible (well, at least by the girlfriend anyway): go to Terroir Natural Wine Merchant and Bar, consume a couple of glasses of wine, and then leave after about an hour and a half. Since I seldom go out drinking, when I do, I usually like to hang out for a while. Last night, however, was a successful experiment in the quick stop-in at Terroir, and since it worked out great I plan on future visits of shorter duration, combined of course with the occasional all nighter.

After being gently chided by Luc for my extended absence from San Francisco's greatest wine bar, coolest low-key hangout, and home of a few champion arbiters of vinous and musical taste, I settled in with a welcome glass (thanks, guys) of Vouvray Petillant from Catherine & Pierre Breton - crisp, appley, with great earthy and mineral Vouvray typicite, while still coming across clean and focused. Next was an '04 Domaine de la Tournelles Poulsard. Bright, red fruits, just a shade animale on the mid-palate and finish. A nice quaff, but enough complexity to make it more than just 'nice.' Sorry, it's clearly a limited vocabulary day here for me. Next, an '04 Savagnin (the Fleur de Savagnin, I believe) from the same domaine, run by Evelyne and Pascal Clairet. Luc told me that the whites are where it's at with these guys. They are more serious, more chiseled, more nervous. Well he didn't say all of those things, but it is what I inferred and he is definitely correct. The wine, especially for a not so pricey ($12 or $13) glass pour, is off the charts, ridiculously good. Lemon oil, green figs, excellent texture and structure on the palate, with just the barest oxidative nuttiness perceptible on the finish.

Now let me pause for the cause here a moment, to quickly editorialize. Savagnin is better chardonnay than chardonnay. Now, I recognize that I'm generally a huge hater of chardonnay, but even white Burgundy fans must admit that good Savagnin can deliver the goods in a way Chardonnay often can't, for much less money.

Let's see...oh I tasted the '06 Binner Pinot Noir (if you're counting, I'm up to two and one half glasses, the Binner was just what my girlfriend was drinking). Very nice. Sort of like a lighter Hautes Cotes de Nuits or Fixin. There was good cherry PN fruit, damp earth, a touch of a floral aspect. Surprisingly good, well actually not so surprising as the other wines I have tried from this Alsace producer have been pretty solid, lively, interesting efforts.

Happy Friday everyone, and thanks Guillhaume and Luc for the continued good times.


Lyle Fass said...

I had no idea Breton makes Vouvray? Pinon? If not I need to seek this out.

Steve L. said...

I had the same wines (excepting the Savagnin) the night before, also after a prolonged absence. All were terrific. That Breton Vouvray is nice--a bottle came home with me, along with some Huet (check out GG's photos from his trip) and sherry.

And my verification word sums up my feelings about the Terroir guys during my absence--"mistu."

Joe Manekin said...

Lyle - Yes, they do. I didn't know this either. The petillant was tasty and worth seeking out. I like Pinon '06 non dose and '04 outta mag a bit more, but the Breton petillant is quite good.

Steve - thanks for the heads up on G's photo's. Try the savagnin, it's my new Kiralyudvar demi-sec (very different wine, but like I did with the demi-sec I will be ordering this everytime I'm at Terroir until they sell out.).