Below, are the last four wines which casted a strong impression on my palate at the Jenny and Francois Selections Annual Tasting….
2004 Peyra “SG” 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.