Thursday, October 05, 2006

A Bubbly Surprise!

Yesterday I popped into Chambers Street Wines on the way home from work to ask them about a bottle of Loire white wine I bought there a few weeks ago. It was a 1992 Savennieres from a producer whose name I cannot remember now, but I tried it because it seemed like a good opportunity to taste an older Chenin Blanc without breaking the bank - $27 for the bottle.

My wife Brooklynlady got me into Loire whites a couple of years ago, and she, as usual, has great taste. I have yet to really explore the sauvignon blanc wines of Sancerre or Pouilly Fume (although I have tried a few of the more reasonably priced sauv blancs from Menetou Salon and Quincy). Instead, I have focused on the wines she loves, from Vouvray and Savennieres. Both made from Chenin Blanc, they can be bone dry, off dry (called demi-sec on the label), or sweet (called moelleux on the label). Better producers make wines with layers of flavor, rich texture, and great herbal and mineral flavors. These wines can age for decades.

Anyway, I was psyched to taste this 92 Savennieres, and looking for the right situation to open the bottle. My pal jonnybongos, soon to move to the bay area, was around for a late dinner on Sunday night and I opened the Savennieres with the Chinese fried tofu in fermented bean sauce. The wine was just wrong - golden brown like sherry, and just as oxidized. We had to discard it, sadly.

Yesterday I decided to ask my wine gurus at Chambers Street about the wine. I haven't had many bottles of off wine and maybe I was wrong, maybe its supposed to be like that. After all, I've never tried an old Chenin Blanc that's not a dessert wine. The Chambers Street Winegirl said it was probably off, and she insisted on giving me a store credit! I was so pleased by this gesture, that I took the credit and immediately redeemed it for a bottle of NV Pierre Peters Champagne Brut. This champy is a grand cru wine made only from chardonnay, and it was described as light and elegant.

I LOVED it. It went so well with game 1 of the Yankees / Detroit Tigers series. Pronounced yeast and something nutty on the nose. Beautiful texture with fine bubbles and great acidity, and light lemons and bread on the palate. I would drink this Champagne constantly, if it were socially acceptable. And at 33 bucks a pop, it seems to be a great value in Champagne.

Now...what to enjoy with game 2?

No comments: