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.

An Airy Chverney Rouge

I am a perfume guy–when it comes to wine of course. So, I like my wine to have an aromatic intensity. Clear. Focused. And well delineated. Not a surprise then that I gravitate towards cool climate reds and whites; especially from the Loire Valley. This clarity which I speak of, is what connects me to the place,people and origin. Naked wines, if you will. Without that purity and honesty, I am lost and uninterested. Several days ago, I opened a stunning bottle of the 2006 Domaine Des Huards“Le PressoirCheverny Rouge(Gamay and Pinot Noir). Cheverney, a small hamlet within the Touraine region of Loire makes both red and white. But I most adore their fragrant reds. The color in the glass of the 2006 Domaine Des Huards Rouge is a delightful pale ruby red. A natural hue for the varieties. Take one whiff; airy, buoyant aromas of minerals, and earthy fruit punch the senses; made me dream of the languid Loire River flowing through France. Peaceful. Powerful. Intense. Pair this wine with herb roasted chicken; it will bring you warmth and deliver instant happiness to the soul. Oh ya, all this satisfying, compelling drinking will cost you less than $20.00 !! There is no wine growing region which can rival the Loire Valley for its history: quality:value ratio……..in my opinion.
Jaime Brockway Warning: Drinking Less Than One Bottle Of Loire Wine Per Week Is Just Plain Stupid And Bad For Your Health. Approved By Baudelaire.

Eating Well……And Cheap!!!

 
In these very uncertain times, I am obviously becoming more conscious of how I consume; and the days of going out to eat and drink with friends three times per week is frozen. Indefinitely. So this morning, I withdrew $20.00 from the ATM, and wandered over to the Union Square Greenmarket. With the pup by my side, we scouted out all the vendors and then attacked with purpose. My goal was to come away with enough food to last me three meals. Difficult, but possible. So this meant the grass fed beef, pork or chicken had to be scratched. Also, I could forget a luxury fruit like grapes or heirloom tomatoes. But in place,I landed a beautiful half dozen eggs, a head of orange cauliflower, a quart of mini- green squash,garlic, and a baguette for only $13.00 !! With a little money left over, I bought a wedge of blue cheese thinking this could put some density and protein goodness on the squash or cauliflower. A little creativity and portion control will be required to succeed. Wish me luck.

An Autumnal Cru Beaujolais

 

With fall having arrived in nyc, something revolutionary happenened to the palate–organically and almost over night. For me, as soon as the cool air and aromas of autumn commence, my taste buds yearn for savory, earth driven reds. White wines are still a common fixture at the table, but the reds certainly dominate the show. So last week, after a day of gathering root veggies and pork from my local farmers market, I prepared a quintessential fall meal: grilled rosemary bone in pork chops and herb roasted fingerling potatoes. Simple. Honest. And replete with earthy goodness.

As the potatoes were doing their business and sending out mouth watering aromas of thyme and winter savory, I sifted through my cellar(2×2 closet) and pulled out a cool bottle of the 2007 Domaine des Terres Dorees Cru Fleurie(Louis/Dressner Selections$21.00) Winemaker Jean Paul Brun works mysterious magic in the Beaujolais and for me ,his wines always have a resounding pureness and confident impact on the senses. Polite yet forceful. Jean Paul Brun’s wine making techniques place him squarely in the hyper natural camp; and his Bojo’s probably taste as they used to, pre-WWII . After spending a few minutes in the fridge, I pulled the cork and enjoyed all the beauty Jean Paul can coax from the gentle Gamay variety. The aromatics were as delicate as a feather; expressing the purity and femininity of Cru Fleurie with perfection…… savory, strong and polite on the palate. The subtlety of all the components kept me intrigued and mesmerized for several hours of brilliant drinking. The last sip was stronger than the first. The wine and food together were flawless and united as one beautiful piece of art. Fluid and natural. This meal was surely a great giver of happiness and content.
Jaime Brockway Warning: Drinking Less Than One Bottle Of Loire Wine Per Week Will Make You Sick And Fragile.

Muscadet Monday

 

Last Saturday a good mate of mine from university popped in town for a brief stay; and shortly after his arrival, a bunch of  east coast oysters were slurped  chez moi alongside a chilled glass of the 2006 Domaine de l’Ecu Muscadet Sevre et Main Cuvee Classique(Kysela Pere et Fils $12-$15) .  Winemaker Guy Bossard adopted organic farming in the early 1970’s and certified biodynamic in the 1980’s, way before it was marketable or cool –he is undeniably un homme de la terre. Guy produces several single soil wines like Expression de Gneiss or Orthogneiss which are dense and age worthy. From what I gather, the Classique comes from younger vines, various soil types, and numerous parcels. Nevertheless, this wine is  truly an admirable expression of soil and place for under $15!!!  In my opinion, the only other wine growing region in the world which can compete with the Loire Valley in the price : soil expression ratio is Germany. So how was the wine, you ask?? It smelled like rocks and tasted of  springtime.  Also, it’s a bit fussy upon opening, so I would recommend a strong decant before serving.

Un vin de soif (thirst quenching wine)

 

The 2007 Domaine de La Pepiere “La PepieVdp Cabernet Franc(Louis/Dressner $15) is just so damn enjoyable and fun to drink. I am convinced winemaker Marc Ollivier can do no wrong. Don’t bother picking apart the pieces of this charmer or over analyzing, because that’s not what this wine is about. An act like that would be over exaggeration and taking away from the essence of its beauty. So here is how I recommend enjoying the “La Pepie“: Pop it in an ice bucket, call over a few close friends, bring out the saucisson, and enjoy a few cool bottles of a thirst quenching Cabernet Franc in all its simplistic beauty. Sometimes geeking out on wine and its hidden nuances is tiring. Just shut up and enjoy!!

JAIME BROCKWAY WARNING:DRINKING UNDER ONE BOTTLE OF FRENCH WINE PER WEEK WILL CAUSE AN EARLY DEATH.

The Proof is Dans La Bouteille

 

My go to book on French wine is The New France par Andrew Jefford. The book is complete and well organized. Mr. Jefford is sympathetic to the small artisan vigneron; his writing style is poetic,passionate and emotional. Below is a nice example.
“It smells of smoke and stone and winter air; it tastes as quick and fresh as a chill, pebbly stream tumbling off a dark, rain-draped mountain. Do you doubt the influence of soil on wine flavour? If you do, buy yourself a bottle of Chablis from any starred producer.”
I certainly agree with Jefford on this point and below is an abbreviated list of wines which I
believe taste like soil and Mother Earth. Please offer your own favorites if you wish. I would like that.
Clos du Tue Boeuf Cheverny Blanc Frileuse
-Claude Branger’s Muscadet Sevre et Maine
-Alice and Olivier Demoor Chablis’ Bel-Air and Rosette
-Anything Marc Olivier touches
-Marcel Lappiere
Domaine Henri Pelle Mentou -Salon “Morogues
Domaine Vacheron Sancerre Blanc
-Single soil luxury Muscadets from Guy Brossard at Domaine L’Ecu