Timecopping Eric Asimov
“Why the fuck would you gerund the name of a Jean-Claude movie that isn’t Lionheart?” you ask. Well because when i was doing research for this post i found that (perhaps owing to time travel) Eric Asimov had already done a similiar post using some of the same producers last year. Does this mean i back down and let him take the post just because he has access to a fancy New York Times’ time-machine? And what if i didn’t do the post? Would his post dissapear in the cartesian whorl of Phillip K. Dickesque time travel? Can Jean-Claude fix this?
So what the hell am i actually talking about? Budget wines, which is a topic that certainly doesn’t warrant the paragraph above. More specifically, good budget wines from good producers. I won’t bore you with a several paragraph invocation of the economy and how shitty (pardon my French, but is there a better word?) it is. Instead i’ll just say that we, as wine consumers, should be better about paying too much for wine, and equating price with quality. Do you know why people think wine drinkers are elitist assholes? Because someone is paying for Screaming Eagle, that’s why. Is Screaming Eagle (or insert other overpriced auction wine) worth it? i don’t have a clue because i’m not stupid enough to pay for it.
So this gets us to the point. You didn’t have to overpay for wine when the economy was humming along, and you certainly don’t have to now, it just takes a little research. There are a number of producers in Europe making biodynamic/natural wines on the cheap that are every bit as worthy as their pricier brethren.
One such producer is the famed Thierry Puzelat, who is fast becoming my favorite winemaker period. Most well known for his Clos du Tue Bouef estate wines from Touraine and for working with unknown-outside-of the region varietals such as Pineau d’aunis (my wine for 2009) and Menu Pineau. despite his growing cult status in the wine geek world Puzelat’s wines are still moderately priced, and none more so than his Telquel (French for “as is” which i assume is both a statement of Puzelat’s philosophy, and a comment on the wine, which is sometimes a blend of Gamay and Pineua d’Aunis and sometimes 100% gamay). Rustic, earthy, and somewhat bright, this wine tastes like early sping, when everything is just starting to grow. About 15 dollars.
Another famed natural wine producer who has given a shot to the bargain bin is Marc Ollivier. Ollivier, by reputation, is a white wine maker who makes some of the most interesting, ageworthy Muscadet to be found. In addition to this he makes (apparently, as i found this fact out on my third time trying this wine) La Pepie cot, which is another name for the malbec grape. i have stated this before, but it needs to be said again, “cot” made correctly is so far from the jammed up, slick, fat Argentinian style that it is hard to imagine it comes from the same grape. Try it for around 16 dollars.
Note: The two wines above are both imported by Louis Dressner and both have animals on the label, proving that for both mass market Australian wines and offbeat natural wines, critters sell.
Heading into the languedoc i recently found out that Aimé Guibert, who makes some of the best (and priciest) wines from this region under the label Mas de Daumas Gassac also makes an 11 dollar wine in Moulin de Gassac Guilheim, which is made from old vines saved by Guibert on vineyards surrounding his estate. Simple, country style table type wine. Good and clean.
Marc Kreydenweiss Perrieres, Costieres du Nimes, 2005. The wine that inspired this post, and the wine that led me to Asimov’s post (or, more likely, this post led him to write his in the past). He is a better writer than me so i will leave the description to him. 16 dollars.
Maison Angelot Bugey Gamay. A standby favorite of mine along with their mondeuse (Wolfgang Weber wrote this wine up HERE) for quite some time now. Drier and more acidic than a typical beaujoulais with the same clear fruit. Easy drinking, incredibly light and just damn good for 14 dollars. Also the label kicks ass:
2006 Baglio Del Sole Inzolia Sicilia IGT. i’m not even sure what to say about this wine, or if i can find it again. Tastes like a slightly oxidized sancerre, priced like an australian bottom shelfer. perhaps the craziest wine on this list, and not for everyone. 10 dollars.