Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Wine Bloggentsia Meet-up at Terroir

Well, it's 12:25am. Not too long ago, I saw David McDuff and his wife Lorie out the door after a lovely dinner at our apartment. He got the full, dinner at Natalie and Joe's experience: late start, late finish, paper towel napkins, and some simple, humbly thrown together food in between.

As I'm awake and trying to re-instill a sense of diligence and discipline on the blog, I thought I might write up a list of some wines we (McDuff, Slaton, Wolfgang, Emily and, to a lesser extent since they were on the clock, Cory and Dagan) drank on Monday night at Terroir, with brief personal tasting notes occasionally spiced by others' perspectives.

2007 Tavijn Grignolino - There is more soul and Piedmont-ness in this delicious bottle than many Baroli and Barbaresco out there. Serious, broad, earthy cherry aromas lead to a tense, tangy dark cherry, brooding, and, especially for the grape variety, serious mouthful of wine. I love good Grignolino, and this is probably better than my previous favorite by at least 30% or so. I drank the Tavijn with a margherita pizza made outside a local bar in an oven attached to a trailer. Not great, but certainly decent enough for street pizza. Poletana pizza was the name.

2008 Domaine de la Tournelles Poulsard - Reductive and a bit mean on the nose. Flavors were all tart red fruit which went straight to the sides of the mouth and back of the palate, not much of anything on the mid-palate. I'd usually enjoy this, but for some reason various elements were not in particularly good balance. It was a bit funky and sharp, not too pleasant. Slaton and I were chatting Poulsard. How Puffeny makes some great Poulsard from which he somehow coaxes great depth of flavor and texture. Tissot is too pristine and not close to that level for either of us. Tournelles, he was saying, is tempramental and occasionally funky, which I experienced in full force. The wine did settle down and improve somewhat, however. When it comes to world class Poulsard, there is Puffeney and there is Houillon, which Cory was saying could be sold for upwards of $60 to the fervently supportive natural wine drinkers in Japan. Maybe just the Dressner company line, but fuck it - I know how good the wine is and how Japan fetishizes certain things as only Japan can. So tightly allocated Poulsard, here we go. One of my co-workers would really get a kick out of that, allocated natural Poulsard - Champagne Gary, I fucking kid you not, it exists....

2002 Clos Rougeard Saumur-Champigny (opened two days prior)

Thanks to Slaton for bringing the remains of this bottle. He was mentioning a wine with almost Morey St Denis type flavors upon opening. After a few days, the tell-tale cab franc veg notes were there, but so was tasty, savory, dark fruit and a really elegant, silken texture. Would have loved to follow this wine from opening to where it was last night.

2004 Rollin Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Sous Fetille

To my minimally trained (and minimally appreciative) white burgundy palate, I much preferred this producer's villages, which actually has some Pinot Blanc in the blend, to this 1er cru which I'm assuming has a lot less or none at all. Much more overt oakiness, alcohol, and lack of togetherness in this wine, even as it fleshed out and integrated over the course of a little longer than an hour. It still wasn't doing it for me then, though I stood squarely in the minority on this one. Chalk it up to chardonnay and French oak hating, but I was really disappointed here. On a brighter note, the last sip was nearly enjoyable.

2004 Rollin Pernand-Vergeless

OK, I actually drank this wine at Terroir a week ago, but it made quite the positive impression. Plus, as much as I liked it I did not want to leave on a negative note for Rollin given my experience with his wine above. This wine had everything I was wishing it's slightly fancier sibling had: rich texture, impeccable balance, mouth expansive, delicious stone fruit flavors offset by lightly roasted nuts. The elegance and flavor development in this wine made it one of my favorite chardonnay based wines of the past couple years for me. I'm not much of a chardonnay guy, though, so take that for what it's worth.

2008 Dashe L'Enfant Terrible Zinfandel McFadden Farm Potter Valley

A bit oakier than I remember it, a suspicion that was confirmed when I learned that there were not enough grapes to fill up Dashe's beloved larger foudre. I prefer last year's, though I must say that the last sip o this 2 oz taste, consumed 40 or so minutes after it was poured, was showing very well, drier and more structured than it had showed upon first pouring.

2007 Foillard Morgon "Cuvee Courcelette"

Another wine geek wine. This was peppery and quite reductive initially, showing tense and structured gamay fruit which eventually opened up and softened a bit. It's very mineral and a bit backward out the gate, but really opens up with air. Tasty stuff, and worthy of the bonafide wine geek coveted beaujolais status.

2001 Bunan Bandol "Moulindes" (375ml)

I was joking with DMcD tonight that perhaps this was an ill advised move, to just get one more bottle, or half bottle as it were, after all the drinking which previously took place. A huge departure from the types of wines we had been drinking the rest of the night, this guy showed meaty, dark fruits, black olive, and loads of structure. One for food, not for closing out the wine geek night. Still, decent wine - we could have done worse.


Florida Jim said...

The Houllion story is too bad for us here in the states - but I am pleased that he will probably make some money, regardless of who from.
I bought heavily in 2002, 2006 and 2007, so, despite missing out on the 2008, I will still have some to keep me company on those cold winter nights in Florida - or something like that.
FWIW, I like Tissot's version but prefer is Trouseau. And, of course, Puffeny does everything well.
I need to get to Terroir one of these days - 'never been.
Best, Jim

Joe Manekin said...

02 Houillon is probably really singing right now! Need to try Tissot Trousseau. While I'd happily drink a glass of any of his wines, to date there isn't much there to make me want to pour another glass or linger over a bottle.

Get yourself to Terroir! And let us know when you do so we can order a bunch of bottles and do it right.


David McDuff said...

Damn, brother. You did all this after dinner??? And all I did was take a cab back across town and roll into bed. Of course, I did have an early AM flight to look forward to. And I haven't blogged since.... I'll get to it one of these days, though you've left me with little reason to attempt notes on Terroir night!

A few thoughts:

- I tried Tavijn's Grignolino the day before and it was giving nothing. Tight as a drum, plus a cardboard-y background note that had me thinking low-grade TCA, though Luc and Dagan didn't agree.

- I'll make no arguments for Tissot being on the same plane as Puffeney and Overnoy/Houillon, but it seems I am a bigger fan than you and Slaton. Have you tried the Arbois "Selection" (note here?

- Bunan may have been ill advised but it was a good time.

Thanks to you and Natalie for all the hospitality.

Joe Manekin said...

David -

It was our pleasure to have you two over. Try another Tavijn, this is a wine that I think you would like if given an optimal bottle. Will have to give other Tissot wines (besides the chard, sparkler and Poulsard) a try sometime.

Lyle Fass said...

Tavjin Grignolino, not to mention their Riche are very soulful wines taht open up a can of Whoop-ass on most Baroli as Joe says.