Sunday, November 08, 2009
It's November and is almost time for the "new" wines to come out. I got an early taste of one a couple of days ago when I stopped by at the unusual wine store La Cave de L'Insolite. (I say this with redundant literalness: "insolite" being the French for, well, "unusual.")
2009 Karim Vionnet Beaujolais Primeur - Vionnet used to make wine for another natural Beaujolais producer, Guy Breton, but is now making his own. If this is a glimpse of the 2009 vintage, we are in for quite a bit of fun. Gorgeously crunchy and light, carbonic yet weighty, this new gamay is uncommonly lovely. After sipping some of Vionnet's 2008 Beaujolais — a wine with a hard tannic edge but lots going on — this, on a return visit several minutes later, was lacy, spicy, and had a marked tendency to disappear in a snap.
2005 Villemade Cheverny "Désiré" - A 100% pinot noir bottling that Villemade, these days, only puts into magnum. The wine had been open for several hours and had finally digested its oak and was offering light, funky, soulful Loire pinot. I find this a much more expressive and racy wine than the sometimes angry "Ardilles." Gorgeous and also difficult to keep in the glass.
I came away from the day with something no one would expect me to be glugging in the dark Parisian autumn (or at any other time or place, truth be told):
Gérard Schueller Edelzwicker - no vintage on this 1 liter bottle, but I believe, if I read the tiny coded small-print adeptly, it may be a 2004. In the glass, it is cloudy. Beeswaxy yellow and cloudy. The nose is aromatic, floral, very pleasing. And on the palate, this has an excellent balance between sweet and savory and sour, with a bit of yeasty umami. It's got persistence, it's got an unusual appeal for what is generally the throwaway wine of Alsace. I would not throw this away. I might even acquire more.