Friday, June 29, 2007

Two from the Loire Valley

There is so much great wine out there waiting to be tasted! I recently had two wines, both excellent, a Vouvray and a Chinon, made by a couple of producers whose wines I had never before tasted. No matter how familiar (so-so, at best actually) I start to feel with the Loire Valley, I taste something new and remember how many skilled producers there are making wine. And I have tasted so little of it. I need to make another trip out there...


Bernard Fouquet makes white wines at Domaine des Aubuisieres in Vouvray. The Wine Doctor profiled this estate here. When I first read this piece I got excited about the sweete wines - I have a serious thing for Loire sweet wines. Those have proven to be elusive here in NYC, but I saw a bottle of 2005 Vouvray Cuvee Silex a little while ago at Chambers Street and grabbed it. At $15 I was not expecting much, but that was my mistake - there are plenty of reasonably priced great wines coming out of the Loire. Turns out, this is one of them.

2005 Domaine des Aubuisieres Vouvray Cuvee Silex, $15 (Chambers Street Wines).

Made from grapes from several vineyards with flinty (silex means flint) soil. This is pale yellow in color with a very reserved nose. The palate is dominated by minerals. We were not so impressed on the first day. But the second day...so much better. This wine, like many sec (dry) wines from Vouvray, benefits greatly from cellaring. On the second day the nose picked up some citrus and floral aromas to balance out the minerality, and the palate broadened, with some melon and citrus to compliment the minerals. Good acidity too. The wine was light in texture, yet mouth filling with bright flavors and great purity. An excellent wine, and clearly a steal at $15. No more at Chambers Street, sadly, but this is clearly a $15 beauty and you should buy it if you see it.

Philippe Alliet is another producer I have been meaning to try, and I finally got around to it the other night after reading another helpful piece by the Wine Doctor. I brought home a bottle of the 2004 Chinon and gave it a whirl with our beef roast and it was YUM.

2004 Philippe Alliet Chinon, $17 (Chambers Street Wines).

Dark dense purple with enticing dark fruit and woodsy smells, along with leather and green pepper. Lots of lush, sweet fruit on the palate, some leather and earth too. Very drinkable, excellent with food, simply high quality wine. Makes me curious to try the Vieille Vignes wine for $7 more.

6 comments:

Marcus said...

Cool! This Aubuisières I've been meaning to try. It is well-reviewed. I like your careful consideration of it and how you demystify it (I always wondered about what silex meant). Anyway, it's $18 here in Quebec and I think both the 2005 and 2006 vintages are available. I've have to invest in a few...

B'guy hits home with a bargain wine recommendation I can merely cross the street for!

Speaking of crossing the street, how familiar are you with McCarren Park?

Steve L. said...

In my experience (about 4 different vintages) Alliet's Vieilles Vignes is a reliably delicious wine. So much so that I've cellared some 2003 and 2005 without even tasting it first. I'd go so far as to say it's a personal favorite where Chinon is concerned (vs., for example, wines from Breton--which always seem to be too tannic for my taste, even when aged--or Joguet). Alliet seems to have a much higher profile in France than here in the U.S. (to the extent that Chinon even has a profile in the U.S.!).

Brooklynguy said...

Hey Dok - long time no talk. Glad to help with the Aubuisieres. I can't vouch for the 06, but honestly, If I had a source (and I don't right now) I would buy 3 or 4 05 Silex without hesitation. This will get really good over the next 5 plus years.

I know Macarren Park pretty well - its not that big. Why?

I agree Steve - I think Breton's wines are kind of overblown. I like many other Loire reds way better. Although the 02 Bourgueil Perrieres was pretty awesome...how was the 04 Alliet VV? I can get it for $25/bottle.

Steve L. said...

I'd spend that $25 on the 2005. I had a bottle of the 2004 and it wasn't up to my expectations.

Marcus said...

Neil, there is a concert I am excited about and it will be staged there in an abandoned swimming pool...

Is this typical Williamsburg fashion?

Dok

Brooklynguy said...

okay, I'll wait for the 05. I really liked the 04 Chinon though...

I've heard about those concerts Dok, supposed to be lots of fun. Pretty typical Billyburg: hipster indie bands, hipster artist/film school audience, hip location in a former swimming pool in the park. You'll have a blast. Just wear a mohawk and wooden framed glasses.