Tuesday, October 30, 2007

By the Glass

I used to call this kind of post "Recent Sips," but I think I like this better. Anyway, here are a few interesting wines from the past month or so that did not get their own post:

BrooklynLady and I learned our lesson, and went to dinner last weekend on our date (no more cooking classes for now). We went to Rosewater, a neighborhood favorite. They believe in using local and sustainably raised foods whenever possible, and the food is generally delicious. Great atmosphere too - small and intimate with flattering lighting, a knowledgeable and friendly owner/host, interesting and satisfying dishes - this place is a winner. Worth coming to from Manhattan, or when visiting NYC. Just take a look at their wine list! Someone cares about this list, you can tell.

BrooklynLady enjoyed her Goose Island Nut Brown Ale from Chicago and I was really impressed with my glass of 2006 Castello di Borghese Sauvignon Blanc (about $20, available at the winery or at Vintage NYC). A relaxed nose with citrus and grassy wisps, and a well balanced palate that followed through on the nose, with a round and smooth texture. This was a great sipper, and it paired very well with our cheese pumpkin risotto appetizer. I bet this would have done well in our recent blind tasting.

I ordered "Rabbit Three Ways" as a main (roasted rack, lardo wrapped loin, confit of leg) - what to drink with this dish? I went with a Gamay from the Loire Valley, a glass of 2006 O. Lemasson Touraine Le P'tit Rouquin ($14 or so, available at stores that carry Dressner wines). This is a challenging wine - I tasted it once before and thought it needed food. The nose is dominated by dried leaves and funk at first. Aeration brings about the cool minty red cherry fruit, but this is a foresty, potting soily wine, and it did go very well with the ever-so-slightly gamey rabbit.


2006 Jean-Claude Thevenet Mâcon-Villages Pierreclos ($15, readily available). A little Wine Blogging Wednesday research, if you will. This regional wine was dominated by minerals, Minerals on the nose, on the palate, all over the place. It had an almost quinine character to it. Maybe with clams on the half shell, but difficult on its own, not lots of flesh in this one.

2005 Chidaine Montlouis-sur-Loire Les Tuffeaux (about $23, Dressner stuff again, might be sold out at this point but there are other Chidaine wines on the shelf - try one). I know that some people find this wine to be lacking in acidity. But I really like it. Yes, it's a fleshy and off-dry monster, but it has pretty quince and hazelnut aromas, herbal and woolly complexity, and a great mouth feel. I think this is a great aperitif, or maybe with young and creamy goat cheeses.

2006 Domaine des Cassagnoles Vins de Pays de Cotes de Gascognes Reserve Selection (about $12, should be easy to find - a Peter Weygandt wine). I loved the "regular" version of this Southwest France gem, so tasting the reserve was a no-brainer. This wine is 100% Gros Manseng and its much fleshier and richer than the "regular" blend, with a more floral perfume. Very lovely indeed, although I think the "regular" wine might be more distinctive. At $12 this is a great value too - a $15 beauty without question.


2006 Domaine du Vissoux Beaujolais Pierre-Marie Chermette ($15, readily available). My first 06 non-Cru (is that a word?) Beaujolais. More stemmy and rustic than the very ripe and easy 05, needs about an hour to show its stuff. When it does, it is lovely red fruit with foresty undertones. Very nice, but not in the same league as the 05.

2002 Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses (about $17, readily available). I love it when good producers hold back some of their wine and release it when it's a bit more mature. That's exactly what Raffault has done here. This is the top wine from that estate and 2002 was a good vintage in Chinon. If you come across this it's definitely worth a try. This is light to medium bodied wine with a complex nose of forest and fruit, with plenty of iron minerality. The palate is earthy and broad, with dark fruit and more minerals, maybe a bit of tobacco at the finish. It is graceful in texture and firmly structured at the same time. This could keep aging for sure, but it's fun to taste a high quality somewhat mature Chinon now...


Marcus said...

I'm freaking out! Was going to write that I like your "By the Glass" column, what with all the sips and the bites (never heard of Rosewater so thanks for writing about it). But the Picasses you mention just as I'm going to click on the comments link is weirding me out. I just encountered it totally out of the blue on Sunday and decided to buy it because I thought it was a stocking mistake -- it was the 2001 (I actually had never heard of this producer). I uncorked it and then finished drinking it last night. Was very impressed despite the vintage and your 2002 sounds quite similar to what I drank.

Iron minerality is right on -- I remarked how great these kinds of Chinons are with roast beef and tenderloin because of that iron complement that is there. And it got even better the second night as the green olives, which were charming, subsided a bit. The fruit was perfectly integrated with the more earthier tones. Lean but too strict. Lightish but with a lovely arc. I think it's my perfect wine. Definitely a food wine. I could drink this stuff all winter long. And at $10 less than the Joguet Chene Vert, which was my yardstick after a Cab Franc tasting with Joe, I think I'm going to be buying lots more 01 and 02 too.


Marcus said...

Whoops... Lean but NOT too strict is what I meant to type.

Brooklynguy said...

Hi Marcus - your description of the wine is certainly more evocative than mine. I should have used yours! Glad you're digging the By the Glass thing, and like you, I find myself thinking of Chinon and other reds from that area as the weather cools. Talk to you soon-

Marcus said...

More evocative? Don't be ridiculous. I just mentioned food.

By the way, I'm also digging the blogger.com comment follow up feature!

Brooklynguy said...

Well i think your description is quite detailed and sincere, without intellectualizing it. i haven't tried the follow up thing - easy?

Joe said...

Hmm, besting that Joguet benchmark and saving $10? This I gotta try.

Marcus said...

Hi Joe,

Obviously I didn't do them back to back, but the Raffault seemed a little less strict and was totally ready to go. And personally, I think I appreciated the flavour profile a bit more -- seemed warmer and more "chocolatey" though perhaps not as substantial as Joguet when the chips are down. It's the $10 difference in price that ultimately made me happy -- and as I showed you I'm not looking for wines to sock away at this point in time so this one is peaking beautifully.

You guys have fun tasting in Brooklyn. I hope to get my Cab Franc notes up before you're done down there...

Brooklynguy said...

Thanks Marcus - we'll raise a glass for you.