Monday, June 22, 2009

Best under $10 bottle of the year thus far

A photo of Phillipe Tessier's Cour-Cheverny. Please note, the bottle pictured is 2006 vintage; the post is about the 2004.

Let's start the week off right with a genuine, bona fide post about honest, tasty, affordable wine. A wine blogging back to basics post if you will. Tonight I opened my second to last bottle of 2004 Phillipe Tessier Cour-Cheverny to go with a quick, light, thrown together at the last minute vegetarian dinner of perciatelli a la trapanese (i.e. pureed, uncooked roma tomatoes with garlic, salt, olive oil and almonds) accompanied by sides of swiss chard sauteed with bacon, and baked zucchini. While the food was fresh, tasty, and competently prepaired, and the pairing worked fairly well, I must admit that the highlight was the 100% Romorantin wine I had opened.

Tessier makes wines that typically have minimal fat and little immediate appeal. They are usually a bit taut and mineral, in fact there is this tough to describe pungency to his wines (both red and white) which may be off-putting to some. For this particular bottle, on this evening, however, the pungency took a back seat to incredibly pure, focused, well-delineated flavors. Citrus oil, pink grapefruit, a hint of grapefruit pith. Not NZ sauvignon blanc grapefruit here. As an aside, what an unfortunate thing that some people associate grapefruit like flavors with obnoxious, manufactured New Zealand sauvignon blanc. That's like confusing a perfect, in season grapefruit for Minute Maid grapefruit juice from concentrate. Away from grapefruit and back to Tessier, his '04 Cour-Cheverny is pure, perfectly balanced and quite persistent. I paid a mere $6 per bottle on this wine (solid closeout purchase) and I wish that I had at least another case.

May everyone out there drink at least one bottle this tasty over the next week.