Wednesday, November 14, 2007

2005 Jean Manciat Mâcon-Charnay Vieilles Vignes

Wine Blogging Wednesday is upon us again, installment # 39, and the theme is Silver Burgundy, or the wines of the Côte Chalonnaise or the Mâconnais. I am proud to be your host this month - I have been an avid reader of WBW roundups and posts since long before I had a blog. In fact, and it was a WBW write up from June of 2006 that kind of flipped the switch in my brain and helped me decide to start a blog myself.

Lenn started this WBW craze over three years ago, in one of his many creative episodes of foresight and community spirit, and thanks to him for passing the host baton to me this month.

So now the wine...and what a wine it is folks! I have to start by telling you that this wine can be purchased, albeit probably not for much longer, and at few select wine shops, for about $20. This is a brilliant white wine, a Chardonnay that could go toe to toe with some from the far more famous and expensive Côte d'Or, the home of the Montrachets and of Meursault. Not to diminish those superstar wine regions by any means - they have earned their reputations because there are utterly incredible wines made there, Chardonnay that when at its best or near-best is probably unequaled by any other in the world.

But Burgundy is notoriously tough for us as consumers, as there are huge variations in quality, and it is often quite easy to spend $50 on a bottle of wine and feel very disappointed upon tasting. That's why I've become a big fan of the
Mâconnais for white wines (not to disrespect the Côte Chalonnaise, but I just haven't tasted as many). I've found great wines for as little as $13 from the Mâconnais. Not great for a $13 bottle, but great wine. So I do my research and try to go to tastings and cellar a few carefully chosen whites from the Côte d'Or each year, but for the daily pleasure of drinking good white Burgundy, it is Silver Burgundy for me.

I first tasted the 2005 Jean Manciat Mâcon-Charnay Vieilles Vignes back in March and I loved it - so rich and lean and complex. Fermented in about 20-30% new oak barrels, this wine has the structure to improve with some age. In fact, it probably should be left alone for the next four or five years so that the secondary aromas and flavors can come out of their shell. But I couldn't help myself - no self-control sometimes.

BrooklynLady and I made a dinner with this wine in mind, blackfish roasted in parchment paper with tarragon, and a smooth and earthy rutabaga pure
é. The wine was deep yellow-gold, sort of old looking. Had me worried - was this oxidized and prematurely gray? No, just deep and rich in color. And the nose...WOW. Intense roast nuts, wet rocky minerals, some tropical fruit that I assume comes from the oak, and something herbal, deep down in there. Very pure nose, well defined aromas, very inviting. This wine was just delicious, although not entirely ready to drink, but delicious. Clean citrus and hints of apricot or peach on the palate, very tense against the minerals and acids, and mouth aromas of flowers and quinine that persist for quite a while after swallowing. A great pairing with the rich Blackfish and the rutabage. I am so excited to open another one of these in a few years, assuming I can grow some patience.

I will post a round-up as soon as possible - looking forward to reading about your SIlver Burgundy experiences.


RougeAndBlanc said...

"a Chardonnay that could go toe to toe with some from the far more famous and expensive Côte d'Or"? I must try this one.

Blackfish is one of my favorite fishes, second to striped bass - got to try your recipe. Did you use the whole fish or fillets?

Marcus said...

You said the q word. I must try it.

Anonymous said...

I'm excited to post my first entry to Wine Blogging Wednesday!

Brooklynguy said...

hey andrew - just the filet for this one. i remember you told me about your affinity for blackfish way back when i posted some pictures and a recipe for fish stock (that i've been making a lot again lately by the way). this couldn;t be simpler - grease some parchment paper, lay out thin slices of potato or mild radish, the fish, some herbs, a pat of butter, sel et poivre, bake for 12 ins at 375, good to go.

marcus - this is right up your alley, really. absurdly good wine, and at such a fair price.

dale - i got it, thanks!

Joe said...

I went for a Cote Chalonnaise, just for you, Cheers!

RougeAndBlanc said...

Thanks Neil, I haven't had a lot of blackfish lately because my wife doesn't like it very much. I shall cook some blackfish in this style and hopefully entice her interest for this fish (and give me an excuse to go fishing for them).

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to taste Jean Manciat's wines. Here in France with the change rate and shorter distance it should be a good deal indeed...

Brooklynguy said...

Thanks Joe - much appreciated.

I forgot that you fish Andrew. Isn't the Blackfish a fish that you have to trap, cause it eats shellfish?

Bert! Nice to see you - yup, you're going to get an even better deal than we do on the Manciat wines. You're right about what you wrote too - Dressner lives down there for part of the year, and his selections probably represent the results of LOTS of tasting. I hope you can find an 05 VV, or at least the regular 05 somewhere - so good. Take it easy -neil

RougeAndBlanc said...

Neil. Rod and reel was always the way until the commercial fishing industry realized there is a huge market out there for this fish. The trapping technique only started about 10 years ago.
(I promised this is my last comment on black fish on this thread)