Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Not up to the Chal...onnaise

Oh man, I do not like the Côte Chalonnaise. I have tried to make my peace with those minor Burgundy appellations, but there's nothing to be done. I prefer the wines of the Mâconnais or even Irancy and Coulanges-la-Vineuse to reds from Givry and its surround.

Yesterday night, the last nail was hammered into the coffin: a mediocre Mercurey 2003 "Manoir de Mercey". Why is this wine sold at 20€? It had no fruit, body, or generosity. And that, for a 2003, is a rare and telling catastrophe. It was a bitter, thin little thing.

These are not generous wines. Rustic, yes, in spades; green, barky...

But even failures can have a moment of grace. In July of last year, five of us were sitting at a table on a restaurant deck on a hill, with the valleys and swamps of the Chalonnaise region all around. The sun was shining. Arnaud's glasses sparkled in the sunlight.

We drank a chilled bourgogne-côte chalonnaise; we were laughing, telling stories of personal misadventures. The cool freshness of the wine and the summery heat of our budding friendships made for a most piquant contrast.

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