Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Minimal slacking on the wine drinking recently

On assignment for the podcast, I bellied up to the bar at Terroir recently and, in between interviewing a few patrons as well as the owners, I drank some wine. Here are the highlights, or at least what I remember well enough to briefly describe.

Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau Vouvray Petillant NV

Decent, fresh, chenin sparkler, if a little lacking in excitement. Obviously this does not show the depth of flavor of the best ('02 or even '01 Huet). But, to me it also doesn't have the fruit purity and immediate appeal of the Pinon ('06 is so good, and the '04 out of magnum is stellar as well). May be more interesting with another year in bottle, employing the British style of cellaring a bubbly a year before drinking?

2006 Francois Mikulski Bourgogne Blanc

Based in Meursault, Mikulski has made one of those rare chardonnays not from the Jura or Champagne which I find to be both interesting and pleasant to drink. Fresh pear flavors, some subtle white flowers, and ripe warm vintage palate weight balanced by fresh acids and lovely lifted elegance.

2006 Occhipinti Il Frappato

Pretty, tiny red berry fruit on a relatively tight and light frame, but still somehow ripe, exuberant and Italian all the same. Does that make sense? And if yes, other than Cos (a bit controversial as some of you surely disagree here) and Gulfi do others make this style of wine in Sicilia? Let's not get into Etna reds, as they can be impressive but also a lot more mineral and intense as well. I'm just looking for the pretty berries, acid and drinkability, here.

2005 Quintarelli Primofiore

Corvina, Molinara, Rondinella, and a splash of Cab Franc (?) Very much the opposite of the wine above. Big, foresty, dark fruited and exotic as well. This wasn't so overblown and lacking interest as to be a struggle to drink the glass, though I definitely would not order a full bottle even to split 3-4 ways. Guess that for Quintarelli, one ought to go all in and splurge for the valpo or amarone experience.

2005 Jo Pithon 'Les Pepenieres' Anjou Blanc

Thanks to Michael for buying this one and suggesting the mini vert which followed. Big, ripe Chenin from this popular producer of generally rich, weighty, oaked chenin. While I thought the wine would be too much for my easily bullied white wine palate, I actually found the wine to be rich, flavorful, palate coating and still easy to drink.

2004 Jo Pithon 'Les Pepenieres Anjou Blanc

A more mineral and nervous version of the above. While I expected to enjoy it more, if anything it seemed a bit more closed. Though, as far as these mini verticals go, a big, powerful vintage that manages to retain its balance will often times outshine the more classic vintage, so I'd be curious to try each of these again on their own. Unfortunately, I suspect that the bottles of '04 are in very short supply.

The aforementioned Michael also brought these two wines from his cellar - very generous, thanks again, Michael.

2001 Vincent Dauvissat Chablis 'Les Preuses' Grand Cru

Really classic, creamy Chablis minerals here. Decomposed marine organism minerality (yes, I have had many decomposed marine organisms in my time) dominated the flavors of this wine. Not sure if I'd want to drink in another few years, but it tastes pretty good right now.

2001 Henri Gouges Nuit St Georges 'Le Vaucrain' 1er Cru

Seemed very firm, tight, and unwielding for an '01 burg around this level, but hey, it's burgundy so what do I know? And for that matter, it's red Burgundy so what does anyone really know about these wines?


slaton said...

Nice lineup. I like Jo Pithon quite a bit, certainly more than I'd have thought given his oak program. Very unfortunate that he lost control of his winery, but hopefully he's landed on his feet and is continuing to make wine elsewhere.

Gouges Vaucrain is pretty tough to taste in its youth. With the caveat that I haven't tasted nearly as much as I'd like, if I did have some in my cellar I'd not not start getting into it til 10-12 yrs from vintage, minimum.

I've had a couple of nice wines from COS but also a fair bit of what Guilhaume or Luc would call f**ked up wines.

Also Preuses is grand cru, so I'm not at all surprised that an 01 from Dauvissat is still wound up.

Joe Manekin said...


Jo Pithon was a pleasant surprise. I have always tasted, never drunk, those wines, and always current releases. Now I know I like 'em

For the Gouges Vaucrain another 2-3 years sounds about right.

COS Cerasuolo- have only had a couple bottles and enjoyed each time.

Thanks for the Preuses correction, I was meaning to change that at work today when I remembered that yes, Preuses is grand cru. I didn't find it wound up, though, and cannot imagine it getting much more interesting (to my taste, at any rate) in another 5+ years. Then again, I have next to no experience with older GC chablis.