Sunday, October 19, 2008

All shook up

After vying for the worst pun in a blog title, I will now move on to the worst blog photography. In fact, this one, snapped last night early in the evening (you wouldn't know it, would you?), can stand as a marker for the unbridled excesses to come.

One thing I am proud of is - at last! - having broken out of the "hipster" wine mode. All my recent posts have been about Amphibolite this and Puzelat that. Well, yesterday we shifted into the stately realm of classic wines.

A first toe-dip into the evening was NV Agrapart "7 Crus" - a favorite of mine for its offhand elegance; this was no exception. It was a very pretty wine. And before you go clamoring that it's biodynamic and all that, see here: it has 10 g/l of dosage! Look, ma, no Extra-Brut!

After we sat down at the table (table and home being that of the most gracious hosts in our neighborhood, or many a neighborhood, Guy and Anne) and espied foie gras with onion and juniper compote on the small white, green-rimmed plates, it was a bottle of 2006 François Villard Condrieu "De Poncins" that was poured into our glasses. As, curiously, I was playing ringleader for the dinner, Guy had allowed me to tip the scales for a wine with the foie gras. Now, he had some Sauternes, but as I don't like sweet wines, I thought this would be interesting and probably floral enough to pair well with the fatty liver. It did; it was a very lush, very floral wine that impressed me with its balance. Viognier is tough to rein in, but this was both opulent and completely mastered. Nice.

With the New England-style palourde chowder it was time to move on to a white Burgundy, and I had brought a bottle of that 2002 Mestre Santenay 1er Cru "Passe-Temps" described two posts back. I opened it and poured a dash in the glass: TCA city. Corked wretchedly. Back to Guy's kitchen and pour it down the drain, then have a quick, minor pow-wow, as no other whites seemed presentable other than, as it turns out, a curious Muscadet he had in the fridge.

The 2006 Louis Métaireau Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine "Grand Mouton" came in a small black plastic bag tied with a plastic string. The bag was opened, and inside, the bottle was crusty, with faded red wax covering the cork. Apparently this producer keeps his wines under the sea. This bottle was very saline, with broken shells and sea wind. It was a little light for the cream-based chowder, but it was quite an interesting drink.

With the cheese platter, involving some Tomme de Chèvre, Pérail, Camembert, Langres and 2006 vintage Swiss Gruyère, we opened a 2002 Philippe Alliet Chinon Vieilles Vignes. Like a little homecoming; sometimes Alliet just blows me away with the precision of his wines*; he takes Chinon up a notch while remaining absolutely true to the tastes and tangs that make it Chinon. Like a dream of Chinon, like Platonic Chinon. This was still young but was drinking well and was flawless.

And as we wound into a blackberry crumble tart, out came more bubbles: 2000 Ruinart. I am helpless against the fizz, and I drank a lot of it. Which may explain my inability to tell you the least thing about it. But it must've been OK.

And it clearly wasn't a hipster wine.

*Except excessive oak in some Coteau de Noiré, but I have been told that he is backing off it, so I may give those another taste.


Steve L. said...

Alliet ain't hip--and he may do things in the vineyard and cellar of which I wouldn't approve (it's hard to find any information about his practices)--but once I stumbled across his V.V. bottling (visiting Paris in 2002) I've kept coming back and have always been pleased.

Sharon said...