Notes From Jenny & Francois Annual Tasting 2018 Part II

Below, are the last four wines which casted a strong impression on my palate at the Jenny and Francois Selections Annual Tasting….

2004 PeyraSG” Cotes d’Auvergnes(Organic)1oo% Gamay. SG stands for Saint-George; the terroir where the grapes are grown for this cuvee. New to me. This wine went straight from the vineyard into the bottle without being stripped of its essence,aroma,color or texture. Smell it; that generous, raw, earthy Gamay fruit is so undeniably alive and inviting. The palate  is lean, muscular and persistent; in fact it reminds me of an athletic ballerina. There is something spiritual and moving about a natural wine like this; to enjoy it, is just  as humbling, real and breathtaking as watching a summer sunset over the Hudson River. Stick a bottle in an ice bucket for 15 minutes, prepare a simple cheese and butter sandwich, take a bite–then a gulp and get ready to smile.
2004 Catherine and Dominique Derain Mercury “La Plante Chassey“(Biodynamic)
 For me, there are few things in this life as beautiful as dipping your nose into a glass of natural red Burgundy. This one here has it all: Feminine. Earthy. Rustic. Bright. Fragrant. The palate has a welcomed nervosity and focus which would sing a charming song at the dinner table. Just because 2004 was quickly dismissed as an on “off vintage” in its youth by all the “wine experts”, doesn’t mean it wont be a brilliant vintage down the road. Many of my greatest wine drinking adventures and moments have been shared with wines from “off vintages”. Go figure. I feel bad for all those folks with mountains of 2005 red Burgundy in their cellar. They are missing out on the real adventure of wine; which is held in the unique voice each vintage expresses and the mystery that can unfold years down the road. Oh well.
2007 Chemin de Bassac Isa VDP Cotes de Thongue(Organic)A blend of Rousanne and Viogner. More Rousanne though. Cotes de Thongue is located  west of Nimes and just a whiff away from the Mediterranean Sea ; with one sniff of this youthful white, you know immediately that you are in the south of France. Sun drenched aromas of garrigue and warm fruits burst exuberantly from the glass. The palate is the same. But add a little yeasty goodness. I can see myself enjoying this wine with a big bowl of warm fish stew. My stomach just roared.
2005 Loup Blanc “Les Trois P’tits C” VDP Val de Cesse– An unusual blend of Tempranillo,Carignan,Grenache, and Alicante. The Val de Cesse is located in the Minervois A.O.C. not so far from the charming medieval town of Carcassonne(you really need to go there if you haven’t yet been). Folks, this part of France is truly breathtaking. Rugged. Pure. Wild. And for me, the good wines of Minervois, like Loup Blanc are no different than the description above. 
Jaime Brockway Warning: Drinking Less Than One Bottle Of Loire Wine Per Week Can Be Detrimental To Your Health. Approved By Francois Rabelais.

Notes From The Jenny & Francois Annual Tasting 2018….Part I

Here are the brief notes I promised from my previous post. The list below are my personal favorites from the whole lot. It is terribly unfair and difficult to judge a natural wine out of context(not with food or good company), so don’t blame me if you disagree. If it were possible, I would take each bottle home, call a few close friends, cook a delicious meal and see what happens to the wine over the course of an evening……. That is not realistic or possible, so I embraced the moment and went with the flow. A many thanks to Jenny and Francois for a wonderful tasting of natural French wines. I am humbled by your passion.

NV Cousin-Leduc Saumur Brut 100%(Biodynamic)– Salty. Mineral. Acidity stings the palate like electricity. Oysters would be nice.
2006 Domaine de La Senechaliere Muscadet Vielles Vignes(Organic)– Less minerality on the nose, more green herbs(mint, fennel) and a lovely natural yeast quality . Ample weight on the palate and a great crescendo on the finish. Long.
2004 Domaine GuillotBroux Macon- Villages(Organic)– Golden hue. Nicely developed nose. It’s warm, rich and inviting; reminds me of autumn. The Deep, creamy texture on the palate screams for a plate of sauteed scallops drizzled with beurre blanc and fresh thyme. Don’t hold too long….. in a very beautiful, mature spot.
2007 Estezargues Cotes du Rhone Blanc ” From The Tank”(3 Liter Box)-We need to embrace quality boxed wine more. When I worked the 2007 harvest in France, we drank delicious Minervois Rouge from the Tank every day!!!–it’s easy to pour, feeds a lot of folks, and is good for the environment. Why not!?!? The CDR Blanc from Estezargues is a quintessential bistro white. Subtle, vinous, thirst quenching and so-so easy to drink. Imbibe ice cold with a salty jambon beurre sandwich. Hey, I want a Tank of Cotes du Rhone Blanc for my fridge.
2005 Domaine Binner Saveurs Printanieres(Organic)Field blend of Riesling,Muscat,Pinot Gris, and Gewurztraminer. A very expressive nose of spices and flowers. Vinous, bright, yeasty, and nicely defined on the palate. Imagine this: It’s winter, you’re in a restaurant sitting at a table near a warm, crackling fire. Across from you is someone special;their beauty is striking,you feel nothing but utter content. The waiter comes over and brings you the menu;listed under entree is a sauteed rosemary bone-in pork chop. Sounds delicious and savory. Though surprisingly,something is missing or incomplete………It’s the 2005 Domaine Binner Saveurs Printanieres.
 
2006 Domaine Binner Pinot Noir(Organic)Oh the color in the glass. It expresses the beauty of man and nature working together, with love and respect. Such a charming, pale ruby red which would inspire Robert Parker to pour it down the toilet…. I feel bad for him. The nose is generous; replete with delicate, feminine Pinot fruit. Light as a feather on the palate. Terribly fun and easy to drink. I may replace this with water in my home.
2006 Cousin-Leduc Pur Breton(Cabernet Franc & Biodynamic)Great effort here…… Francois Rabelais would love this wine. Concentrated yet buoyant, inky, and masculine. Lots of meaty fruit and schisty minerals to chew on . Decant for a long while. This wine is so undeniably French; a wonderful, true representation of Anjou Breton. I Love it. At the table, this burly, earthy Breton needs a hunk of braised meat to tame its savage nature. I want to love everything Cousin touches. His passion, energy and determination to make hyper natural, traditional wine is inspiring. Actually, it gives me the chills.
******Shoot, the pup is sitting at the door with a face so adorable and sweet that I cannot refuse his request for some quality time outside with Dad(me). Five more wines to discuss in the next post. Tonight? Doubtful. Tomorrow? Likely.
Jaime Brockway Warning: Drinking Less Than One Bottle of Loire Wine Per Week Is Detrimental To Your Health. Approved By Francois Rabelais.

Ahhh……Ernest Speaks The Truth

Pardon, but I digress from usual business to offer Hemingway’s perspective on wine. While reading A Moveable Feast this weekend for the tenth time, I came across the excerpt below. It struck a chord. It should also be noted that Hemingway had an affinity for the high acid, naked white wines of France.

“In Europe then we thought of wine as something as healthy and normal as food and also a great giver of happiness and well being and delight. Drinking wine is not a snobbism nor a sign of sophistication nor a cult; it was as natural as eating and to me as
necessary….”

Flintastic Pouilly Fume

 

Summertime in NYC is still on stage–front and center! So, I took this opportunity to celebrate the heat with a cool glass of Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc, and a button of Crottin de Chavignol. Folks, it doesn’t get much more hedonistic than the ancient pairing of a tangy goat cheese with a nervous, ample Pouilly Fume. Take part in this time honored tradition–your tummy will not be disappointed. The Pouilly Fume of the evening was a delightful bottle of 2007 Regis Minet Pouilly Fume Vielles Vignes. Imported by my wine hero, Kermit Lynch, who has been working with Minet’s wines for years.  Regis Minet makes an old vine blend for Kermit coming from various parcels on the right bank of the Loire River. The nose is tight, muscular and loaded with gun flint.  I mean loaded!!! Volume, minerals and green fruits define the palate. Long and crunchy finish. Oysters are actually lining up around the corner to die for this wine.   The 2007 Regis Minet Pouilly Fume Vielles Vignes is equally as beautiful, moving and natural as a snow hushed morning.

Cheers to Pascal Frissant


Meet Pascal Frissant. He owns Chateau Coupe Roses in Minervois, France. Last year, I worked at his artisan estate picking grapes and helping in the cave. Based on this picture, do you think I had fun!?!? Simple answer. So yesterday, I had the good fortune of enjoying the fruits of my labor by tasting the newly released 2007 Chateau Coupe Roses VDP “Champ du Roy” Cotes Du Brian (Marsanne,Viogner,Grenache Blanc,and other white varieties). The nose and palate are exuberantly wild, spicy,floral, and intense. Not a shy gal here. Take a sip, swoosh it over your tongue, suck back some air, and feel the warm scents of the Mediterranean hit you like a Mac Truck!!! Serve very cool and next to a warm baguette slathered with tapenade.Pas Mal.

 

Putting My Country First!!

Following McBush’s lead, I am suspending Jaime Brockway, and putting my country first over Loire Valley Wine. Today, I depart for our nation’s capitol for an indefinite period of time.The American people need my leadership and maverick palate to get through this difficult period. Wish me luck.