Monday, March 19, 2007

Bizzy, buzzy Saturday

Saturday was a marathon day for wine tasting. Two fine wine shops in Paris were giving tastings: lineups from the cooperative in Mâcon-Mancey (which I will not write about anywhere, because I didn't like any of them), then outstanding Bouzeron from A. & P. de Villaine, and at the end of the day, Montagny from Cary Potet. But, amid those other three, was a fourth, and one of the most interesting: 2004s from Alix de Montille.

I knew Arnaud was going to make a joke, and indeed, he asked her right off the bat if she was now signing autographs on bottles, post-"Mondovino." She looked a little pinched, but laughed and said no. She had her hair cut short, and was intensely observant.

We started with three whites from the Deux Montille, Alix's négoce house created in 2003, and then two Domaine reds and back to a Deux Montille grand cru.

2004 Deux Montille Saint-Romain "En Jarron" white - This was my favorite of the trio (tho' my tasting companion didn't agree); elegant, with a little oakiness but, I felt, beautifully mastered material, with a silky body to it.

2004 Deux Montille Auxey-Duresses "La Canée" white - More rustic than the Saint-Romain, interestingly. Higher acidity, brighter profile, snappy white flowers and lime zest, and less oak. I've always thought Auxey-Duresses was an underrated commune, and here was a nice example of a village wine from the well-reputed "La Canée" climate. This was Arnaud's favorite of the trio of whites, for its vibrant character.

2004 Deux Montille Meursault "Grand Charrons" - Subdued, full-bodied yet somewhat muted Meursault. Balanced between a subtle barrel-aging and a soft, untroubled confidence in its expression of its soil. Not exuberant, not flashy, but interesting, needs to be coaxed out some.

Next, we tasted the reds:

2004 Domaine de Montille Bourgogne - A classy, eagerly fruity, piquantly young generic Bourgogne. Definitely the fruit of its 2004 vintage, but a nice and unassuming pinot.

2004 Domaine de Montille Beaune 1er cru "Les Sizies" - This one is apparently Alix's favorite of the lineup. We were less enthusiastic; it seemed a little green, a little thin and austere. Again, not a wine that comes out waving flags, well-made but not immediately seductive. Very young, of course, but not thick enough to need a ton of aging either.

2004 Deux Montille Corton Renardes grand cru - Far above the Beaune 1er cru, it was complex, with lots going on in a tangly, long taste in the mouth. Sous-bois and barnyard and a little animal-y (Renardes being of course the word for female foxes), along with dark fruits and some tobacco and spicy stuff going. I found this tasty and elegant.

We left with satisfaction at having tasted this interesting set of wines. If I had a liberal amount of cash in my portfolio, I'd certainly have stocked up on some Saint-Romains (25 € apiece) and Corton Renardes (69 € apiece). As things stand, I came out of the day with not a lot to bring down to the cellar... but at least I'll be able to pay my gas bill!

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