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?