Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Two Great Values from the Loire Valley

Even though the Euro commands more than one and a half dollars, there are serious and beautiful wines to be had from the Loire Valley for under $20. Cellar-worthy wines too.

Here are two very fine examples :

2005 Château d'Epiré Savennières Cuvée Spéciale, $18. Sort of sad that as a lover of Savennières, I've never tried an Epiré wine until this one. This wine really blew me away. But not in a hedonistic this-is-so-delicious-right-now kind of way. Deeper than that. An amazingly focused nose of woolly minerals, like standing in a wet limestone cave, with hints of lime pith, and green apple. The structure and concentration are apparent even on the nose. Completely transparent palate with tight flavors of wet rocks, citrus oils, quinine. Incredibly persistent, the finish really lingers. This is a thinker of a wine, and I imagine that it has many years ahead of it. I'm putting a few bottles of this down to sleep. If you like Savennières you might consider giving this one a try. And I remind you, it's under $20.

2006 Puzelat Touraine PN, $18, Louis/Dressner Imports. That's right, this is Pinot Noir, and it's delicious, AND it's $18. No, I'm not trying to trick you, I am absolutely serious. The o6 vintage says "PN" on the label, not Pinot Noir, by the way. This has a slightly funky nose of mushrooms and dried leaves, but also of red fruits and violets. A lovely palate of ripe fruit and earth with a bit of rusticity. The tannins have not been polished out of this wine, they are right there and gently providing all the structure you could want. There is a buzz of energy to this wine that makes it great on its own, but even better with food. You could do roast duck, any kind of game, and mushroom soup or risotto would be great too. If you can find this just buy whatever they have, you will not be disappointed. I would enjoy drinking this one over the next year.

5 comments:

RougeAndBlanc said...

Neil,
Where can we find the Puzelat Touraine for $18, the lowest I see is about $24 @ Prospect

Brooklynguy said...

hey andrew - i got mine at chambers street. $24 brings you into Bourgogne territory, it's true.

Brian said...

Puzelat rocks! I love his Malbec (In Cot We Trust) and even his Gamay (Le Telquel)

If you ever get out to San Francisco, go to Terroir Wine Bar, Puzelat Headquarters!

Michael Weiss said...

Did you get the d'Epiré Savennières at Chambers Street too/ That's the only place I've bought it in the past and they were out as of this week. I love this wine.

Brooklynguy said...

michael - sadly they're out of it, and that's where i got it too. i checked at astor wines and no dice. it's the 06 vintage now. haven't tasted it yet. epiré is a great value, and the 05 was stupendous, i agree.