Sunday, May 06, 2007

Roundup - Recent Sips and Bites

A few wines of interest from the past few weeks that don't get their own post:


2003 Marechal Savigny Les Beaune Vieille Vignes, $ unknown (restaurant purchase). I have come to expect excellent wines from this producer, and I remember enjoying the '03s in general. If I'm not mistaken, it was this wine that won the NYTimes tasting panels' "Village Burgundy" blind tasting a little over a year ago. We were not so impressed this time, though. Maybe this wine is not that long lived, as the '03s are low in acidity. Not likely - it's only 2007. In any case, reserved aromatics, some red fruit and a bit of earth. Somewhat flabby palate reflecting the same. Not terribly complex, some baked characteristics. Pleasant, but not worth seeking out. Maybe the restaurant (Savoy) didn't store the wine properly...?

2005 Paul Pernot Beaune Clos du Dessus des Marconnets, $22. Back here I first wrote about this wine, so this is the second bottle we opened. I will admit - I was worried based on recent bottle variation issues, that this wine might not be a good as I remembered. Wrong. just as good. We enjoyed it with rack of lamb and turnip puree, and it the wine was excellent. Interesting aromatics, loaded with underbrush and dried leaves. Also some sour cherry and strawberry. Light to medium bodied texture, great acidity and balance, there is still some sappy baby fat on the palate. The fruit is ripe and lovely. It might be hard not to drink all of this young, but I am curious to see how it ages. This is honestly a steal at under $25.

2005 Desvignes Morgon Javernieres, $21. I really liked this wine the first time I tasted it. It was every bit as good this time, but it definitely needed some air time to get there. Plenty of fresh strawberries and raspberries and a little funk on the nose. Zippy and juicy palate of ripe strawberry with nice dusty tannins. An excellent Beaujolais.

2005 Jean Manciat Macon Charnay Franclieu, $17. This is a real find for me because I have basically given up on Chardonnay at this price point. I just never like it as much as I like other whites at the same price point. But this wine is an exception. Nice aromatics - ripe stone fruits, some citrus, some tropical fruit. And this is steel fermented wine - no oak! These are the aromatics of the grape as grown by this producer. The wine is lean with good acidity. There are floral and mineral flavors to go along with the citrus and stone fruit. A definite re-buy for me - this is as good as any white I know of that is currently on shelves and under $20.

2003 Bergstrom Pinot Noir Cumberland Reserve, $34. A few years ago I was a real fan of this wine. Not so sure now. It is a brawny style, rich and heavily extracted. And it clocks in at 14.5% alcohol. I wanted to like it because I have a few more bottles, but BrooklynLady and I agreed - it's just not that good. Sappy pine smells, and lots of heat from the alcohol. Unfocused palate without any defining characteristics. BrooklynLady said that she would not have known it was Pinot had I not told her. Is this Bergstrom in general or just this cuvee, I wonder. In any case, I would have to taste first before buying any further Bergstrom.

2003 Delesvaux Coteaux du Layon Selection de Grains Nobles, $30 (secondary market). For some reason I often find particularly good deals on Loire dessert wines on web auction sites like Wine Commune. Good can mean half price or better, as in this case. I don't seek out Loire whites from '03, as the heat kind of did away with the acidity, but supposedly the sweet wines survived well. Not sure I agree based on this as an example. This wine was amber in color with pronounced ripe pineapple on the nose, some caramel too, with a little whiff or roast nuts. The palate was not as complex as the nose - honeyed with some mineral notes, but too much flab. Acidity definitely lacking, and the wine wasn't balanced because of it. One interesting thing - the texture was almost aloe-like in viscosity.

2005 Eric Texier O' Pale, $15. I loved this wine at the Real Wine Attack tasting so I was curious to see how it would show at home with food. Deetrane and his family came over for brunch one sunny morning and we sat on the deck eating omelets and BrooklynLady's popovers with her homemade peach conserves (last summer's batch now gone). Why not the O Pale, at only 7% alcohol? Made from 100% Viogner grapes from Condrieu, this wine was every bit as delicious as I remembered. A nose full of orange blossoms, light and lovely stone fruits, and confectioner's sugar on the palate. Good acidity and balance for an inexpensive sweet wine. Deetrane was swooning over this stuff, by the way...

2005 Texier Cotes du Rhone Brezeme Roussanne, $20. Didn't love this one at the same tasting, but it was the only Texier wine that didn't impress me, so I decided to get a bottle and try it at home with dinner. BrooklynLady and I have been working on our roast loin of pork lately, experimenting with different herbs in the marinade. Here is our new favorite method:

Fresh oregano in the mortar and pestle with a few cloves of garlic and some kosher salt. A little olive oil (safflower is good too, and allows the oregano to shine a bit more) and then rub the paste all over the pork loin. Generous salt and ground pepper, let stand for at least a half hour. Layer a pan with potatoes (I like a mix of white and blue for color), toss in olive oil and a little salt. Place a few sprigs of oregano on top of the potatoes and then the pork. Roast at 450 degrees for 15 minutes to brown the exterior a bit, then lower the heat to 375 and roast for another 45 minutes, tossing the potatoes once during roasting, or until it has reached desired temperature. I like it at 140 degrees F when I take it out of the oven. The juices run a little pinkish, but cover loosely with tin foil for another 15 minutes and it continues to cook, but gently.

We served slices of this pork with pan juices and the potatoes, with roast asparagus - a yummy spring meal. The Roussanne was a really nice pairing. The nose was the best part for me after the initial woody blast, full of flowers and wet stones, some wax and something like poundcake too. Oily texture in the mouth, not much acidity in this wine, but still light and flavorful. Waxy and mineral palate, with some flowers and apricots too. I enjoyed this wine, but BrooklynLady liked it much more than me. I know that it is good wine, but it might not be my favorite style.


RougeAndBlanc said...

Savoy charges $65 for the 2003 Marechal V.V. which is really not too bad. The 2005 is selling for $31 at Chambers.

Brooklynguy said...

What's up Andrew!
$63 for a $34 bottle is a tough pill to swallow, and when the wine isn't so great...

Joe said...

A Morgon! Rarely blogged, will look for it. Tried to have one tonight, but it was corked, so I went elsewhere...sigh.

Brooklynguy said...

Very true Joe - rarely written about, these lovely Beaujolais wines. I just picked up a few, as I am trying to drink good wine while lowering my average $/bottle, so I plan on writing more about them soon. Take it easy...

Anonymous said...

$15 for the Texier O Pale? Are we sure about that? It's $38 and Smith and Vine.

Brooklynguy said...

We certainly are. We purchased several bottles from Chambers Street Wines at that price, before they sold out.