Saturday, March 29, 2008
Around the Hexagon
Yesterday I met up with Neil at 1pm. We had a serious agenda, but unfortunately, I had grabbed a quick bistro lunch with Arnaud just before and ordered dessert - a Paris-Brest, which is a puff pastry filled with hazelnut buttercream - and, to my horror, and then unbridled gourmandise, the dessert was sized for a party of four with a hearty appetite.
So, it was in a sugar comatose haze that I met Neil before the Saint-Paul metro stop, next to a whirling merry-go-round.
We headed up to the Caves Bossetti to taste lineups of Chablis from William Fèvre and Côte de Beaune whites from Bouchard Père & Fils. Afterward, we would jump in the metro and go to the biggie: the Salon des Vignerons Indépendants, which is a bi-annual show in which some five hundred independent winemakers come and pour their wines, taste, discuss, and sell them.
When I got home at 7pm, my lips and teeth were a bit dark, and I was a bit sleepy. I had tasted quite a fearsome amount of wine. I will be systematic in the future, but at this early date, and before a tasting this afternoon, I will just jot down a few impressions.
2007 Amphibolite (Jo Landron) - I cannot get over the sheer exuberance of this cuvée. Landron's other Muscadets are more polished or classic (or, like the one aged in old oak - whatsit called, Fiefs du Breuil? - atypical and full-bodied), but Amphibolite is one quirky, jumpy, lively wine; its green-apple and brine are great.
2005 Breton Bourgueil Perrières - (with special mention to the splashy, crunchy 2007 Avis de Vin Fort and Nuits d'Ivresse - I am going to snap up cases of those babies) - this one was extremely elegant, smooth and not at all in the usual Breton "it's green because we like it" vein. I have hereby renewed my cultish adherence to the domain, after some doubts a year ago. Even the sparkling Vouvray - with far, far less RS this year - was delicious. And Pierre Breton remains the coolest person to talk to.
2005 Dupasquier Jacquère + Altesse + Altesse Marestel - Where has Dupasquier been all my drinking life? Back up the truck; this is Muscadet of the mountains, with a wild, incredible spicy thing going on. First taste; want much, much more.
2005 Bouscassé Madiran - Great bite, smooth then barky and hard on the finish. The starter of their lineup, this was, to my tastes, the outstanding bottle of the Montus/Bouscassé offering, though I also liked a tannat/cabernet blend, which I found quite suave.
We also tasted some more traditional fare: many Burgundies (a shock of pleasure with the Domaine Bernard Bachelet's 2005 Meursault Narvaux; bis repetita with Domaine Chevalier's white 2004 Ladoix "Bois de Gréchons," which both took the stuffing out of Bouchard's lackluster lineup.)
I was left with a couple of questions: why do people like William Fèvre's Chablis? I have never gotten any pleasure from them. And how come not more people enjoy Irancy - especially with a 5% slug of César grapes? (Much enjoyed a 2005 Ferrari Irancy "Paradis"; yes, aptly named.)
I also confirmed my opinion that old oak on Champagne is good.
All right, off to taste some cru Beaujolais.