Sunday Night Dinner: Oxidation and Chocolate(bobka)
Lately, it seems, that whenever i start to cook i invariably turn to the same source for music, the mixtapes over at Chocolatebobka. i’ve pimped them before but i really wanted to make sure that all my readers check them out. Of all the people doing mixes that i have stumbled upon, they seem to get the concept the best. Thematically cohesive witha mix of old/new with a heavy emphasis on influences they can pull off an hour half of sources without ever feeling forced. Check them out here:
On to the wine…
Jacques Puffeney (courtesy of Guilhaume Gerard)
Ever since reading Edward Behr’s superlative article on the wines of the Jura in the Art of Eating (something anyone interested in the Jura should read) i have been hankering to try the attendant recipe, chicken and morels in cream and vin jaune. Of course not being able to afford proper vin jaune for cooking wine (i’d much rather drink it) i opted for sherry and being unable to procure morels i had to resort to other mushroom types, but i’ll leave perfection to the perfectionists and just say this was fantastic.
The classic pairing with this dish is (no shit) vin jaune. Barring that (as i had to) another oxidized white will work just as well (perhaps not just as well, but you get the picture). So a bottle of Jacques Puffeney’s 2005 Cuvee Sacha was opened and drank, which is a blend of sous-voile savagnin (never, ever to be confused with sauvignon blanc, although it frequently is) and chardonnay. For me the wines of the Jura begin with the wines of Jacques Puffeney. Sure i may be more enamored with the wines of Overnoy-Houillon moreso than Puffeney, but there is a classical element in Puffeney’s wines that seem to trickle down in some form to all the good producers in the area. They seem like a template for Jura wines that is inescapable. If i were to go ahead and recommend a good “starter” (i hate that term) oxidized white from this region, this would be the one to go with.
After dinner we settled down with a glass of La Bota De Fino No. 15 sherry from Equipo Navazos (i told you this post had a oxidized theme) which is a stylistic shock from the relatively restrained oxidation of the Sacha. The first time i tried this wine was at the Wine and Spirits top 100 tasting earlier this year when i was desperately trying to get out of the building when i remembered something that Jon Bonné had mentioned to me weeks earlier. He told me the tasting would be worth attending simply to try these sherries so i fought my to an isolated corner where the wines were less known and the scores were lower (i only assume, as i don’t read wine magazines). i tried both the 15 and the 16 (the fino and the manzanilla), was sufficiently impressed and set off to find more about this Equipo Navazos.
As it it turns out Equipos Navazos isn’t a traditional sherry producer, or even a producer at all. It was formed by a group of sherry enthusiasts who travel to different producers and select the finest “botas” (or barrels) and bottle them. these are wines, as my wife mentioned, that make you feel “olde-timey.” there is a certain amount of class to certain wines that make you feel like throwing on a top hat and monocle and swinging your cane through ye olde London. It’s definitely a quality shared by very few wines (Cols Rougeard, Collette Ferret are two examples i’ve had recently that evoke the same feeling). Hard to pin down, but worth seeking out.
(One note, however. i do wish that equipo Navazos would place the actual producer of the sherry on the bottle, since they are the ones who, you know, made the stuff.)
Listen to this:
(Please note that i caved to popular pressure and changed the format of my blog back. i will be tweaking it in the coming weeks.)