Monday, October 23, 2006

Another Saumur Champigny

My pal Deetrane is a Wine Commune addict (I will not link there, I'm no pusher, baby). He can't seem to help himself - even though he says he shouldn't be buying wine now, he finds himself perusing the Wine Commune acutions looking for good deals. He tries cheap wine from producers he hasn't heard of, and invents fantastic new explanations for his wife about how and why another carton of wine arrives at the door.

Last week he emailed me to ask if I wanted to go in with him on a case of wine he won on auction. He wasn't familiar with the producer but he knows that I love the Loire reds. Turns out, he got a case of 2000 Domaine des Roches Neuves La Marginale, their top cuvee, for a little under $12 per bottle. This wine sells for about $30 per bottle. Even though 2000 was a tough year in which many Loire reds were kind of fruitless and diluted, good producers should still make good wine, right? decent wine? Wine worth $11.66 per bottle, including delivery?

I took half the case off Deetrane's hands and made dinner last night that I hoped would pair well. Seared sirloin steak with simple shallot red wine reduction, some baby bok choy, and roasted potatos. I've been into radishes lately too, and I got some at the farmers market with white peels and beautiful hot pink flesh. We had those boiled and tossed with butter and salt - simple and yummy.

2000 Domain des Roches Neuves La Marginale
Highly vegetal when first opened. Smells of green peppers, maybe, with fresh earth. Reserved, if any fruit on the nose. Closed palate, but promising because the texture and color are right on, and well...because I believe! And although this is not a superstar wine, I was right to have faith. I opened it 2 hours before dinner with a few friends, and by the time people were eating, the fruit was more evident on the nose and definitely in the mouth. Mostly raspberries, with some black fruit undertones and an astringent feeling from the tannins. The wine was well balanced though, with no alcohol feeling and nice minerality on the finish. I imagine that in better years, the fruit is more focused. I will definitely try a bottle from the current vintage 2003.

It doesn't seem as if this wine will improve much with cellaring - there is just not enough stuffing. I want to save a bottle or 2 for the day in 5 years when I have some sort of vertical Loire red tasting, but this is a drink now wine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a MUCH different wine with food. Tasted much rounder and tangier with my mother's stuffed peppers....