Day 29: What are You Drinking? A lazy sunday post.
We’ve been drinking some great things here, chez saignée, but i haven’t had a chance to post about them. So here a little essay featuring some of our favorites from the past few weeks. this is a double post from both me and co-blogger Chris Osborn. It’s late in the day because of the party last night, so sue me.
Thierry Puzelat – 2007 Clos du Tue Boeuf Cheverny Rouge Rouillon
I was writing this post just as Putnam Weekley sent me this video he made. I think it was fated to be.
Jean Maupertuis – “la Guillaume” Vin de Table Francaise
10.5% alcohol? Are you fucking kidding me? i could drink this wine all day. i wish it came in magnums. Nay, boxes. Nay, barrels. This is a strange little (super)natural wine that one can correctly use that obnoxious term “quaffable.” Made from 100% gamay from the Cotes d’Auvergne in France and displaying all of the fresh fruit that grape has come to be known for i am declaring this my “natural wine of the summer.”
ps. This is the wine that was described as being very “Alice Feiring” when i bought it.
COS – Cerasuolo di Vittoria
i was about to write about how making pasta was one of those “zen” inducing activities and how relaxing it all is and the other typical new-agey bullshit until i thought about it for a minute and decided that was all wrong. Making pasta is time consuming, frustrating, dirty work (for me at least). It is also very rewarding when finished and i think i’m confusing this satisfaction with relaxation.
i had some friends, both new and old, over for lasagna the other night and decided in the spirit of natural i would make everything from scratch. Pasta, sauce, bechamel, everything. Also in the spirit of things i decided to retry a wine that i could never get into when tasting it divorced from food, a magnum of COS Cerasuolo di Vittoria.
i’ve never gotten COS until this bottle. COS are Sicilian winemakers known primarily for making exceedingly light wines in a climate that would favor heavier, dumber wine, and aging some of them in clay amphorae. Made entirely from a blend of indigenous Sicilian grape varieties frappato and nero d’avola this wine comes across as an especially piquant pinot noir, smooth cored with a rustic spiced edge. Gotten together with the lasagna it was perfect. In fact the pairing wasn’t even dissectable it was so perfect, it was as if the wine and the food should never be served apart.
Catherine et Pierre Breton – Bourgueil Trinch!
Maxime-François Laurent – Il Fait Soif 2007 Côtes du Rhône
Domaine Maestracci – E Prove Blanc 2008
Where the hell would we be without Kermit Lynch? Whenever lost in an unfamiliar wine store, we wine geeks invariably do the same thing. Start turning over bottles of wine to find a familiar importer, to find something from one of maybe five or six people who have put together a portfolio with enough care that picking a bottle with their logo on it is a sure indicator of quality. There is Louis/Dressner, Jenny and Francois, Neal Rosenthal, Jose Pastor and a few others, but it was Kermit’s little black and white label that must have started the whole trend.
Two weeks ago I went for a short visit to Kermit’s Berkeley store to chat with Kemit’s new online presence manager (is that a real job? i think i just made it up) Clark Terry and of course to buy a few things. i chose a range of things, from the tried and true of Breton’s cabernet franc, to a odd little carbonic Rhone wine (the il fait soit) and a super budget wine in the Corsican E Prove Blanc.
These three represent for me why someone would trust Kermit’s label enough to buy a wine just based on the importer. That an importer who brings in Raveneau, Clape, Tempier, and Vieus Telegraphe would get excited about an 11 dollar corsican wine makes me happy for the future. It is nce to know that someone is out there finding naturally funky loire valley gems and carbonic Rhones that need an explanation on technique before they are sold.
Domaine de Montrieux – Verre des Poetes
Made from 70+ year old ungrafted pineau d’aunis vines and made in the most natural style possible. This is the feminine pineau d’aunis to the more masculine Belliviere. Semi-carbonic, light, herbaceous, impossibly thoughtful wonderful stuff. A wine that makes you love wine again.
Audrey et Christian Binner – Saveurs Printanières
Binner wines are the James Brown of natural wine. They are the epitome of FUNK. Moments after my fiancée got the near her nose she exclaimed “STINKY OLD MAN FEET!” Oh yes. Sweet, sweet, stinky old man feet. And honey. And do not get me wrong, that is a wonderful thing. Wines like Binner are what make Alsace a great home for singularly odd white wines (Domain Ostertag being another favorite). And this is just what I’m looking for these days. New for new’s sake. Stuff that pushes the boundaries of what I know to be wine. And there is no better way to find this stuff than chasing the “natural” dragon.
From what I can gather, Binner is just about as hands-off as you can get. Start with two decades without the use of chemical. Plow and tend careful by hand. Harvest late. Crush and produce slowly with patience (3 Cups). All the careful work results in wine that has no peer. In this instance, we’re dealing with a blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Muscat and Gewurtraminer and no frickin’ idea what vintage. This is also an unfiltered wine, and in this case by unfiltered, I mean opaque.
The Gewurtraminer drops some characteristic apple, but that’s probably the only “normal” thing about it. Light, effervescent acid trips our your tongue and then morphs into the aforementioned apple paired with meringue cookie. Things finish with a quick hint of cream and vanilla and a ridiculously long, musty after-glow. Fucking awesome. More plz.
Enologica Temera – Alodio, Mencia, Ribeira Sacra, Spain
I don’t know much about these guys other than they make some of the rustic natural wine coming out of Spain right now. Floral, peppery notes. This wine remids me of the old velvet seats at the Tower movie theatre in Salt Lake, Rough in some spots, smooth in others, comfortable from years and years of Wong Kar Wai viewings and Rocky Horror fans. This is a wine that takes you back to a time you’re not sure ever existed.
So readers, the question is, what have you been drinking?
Follow day by day here: https://saignee.wordpress.com/31-days-of-natural-wine/
Up next: Dard et Ribo with Linecook415; or: VLM was WRONG