Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Three Little Wines That Could

If you drink wine regularly you know the value of finding delicious and interesting wines at everyday prices. And I'm not the only one thinking about this lately. Especially now that the whole financial sector seems to be imploding.

The other night at my pal Adam's house, we drank three wines with dinner, and each was an absolute gem. And none of them will run you more than $20 retail. Including tax. Even less with the mixed case discount.

2007 Clos Roche Blanche Touraine Cuvée Gamay, $16, Louis/Dressner Selections. I'm one of the anomalous natural wine lovers who just can't figure out why everyone goes so crazy over Clos Roche Blanche. I decided to take another shot, and started with this wine. And what a wine! A bit reductive upon opening, and I was concerned. But after about 15 minutes the nose blossomed, showing sweet ripe gamay fruit, earth, herbs, stony minerals, and an energetic wildness running underneath. Just delicious and quite complex. There is a dense feeling to the wine, although it is not at all full bodied. This is excellent wine by any standard, and if you include it in a mixed case you're paying $14.40 for the bottle.

2006 Thierry Puzelat Touraine Pouillé, $18, Louis/Dressner Selections. Weird, right? Another amazing Gamay from the Loire brought in by Dressner. I hope you can sense my sarcasm. This wine was utterly delicious. Such ripe fruit, nice concentration without feeling too dense or heavy, well balanced with great acidity, a bit of structure for everything to lean on, fresh and pure. Honestly, our mouths hung open at how good this little wine is. This is Puzelat's old vines Gamay, and it brings way more than $18 worth of pleasure.

2007 Domaine de la
Pépière Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie Clos des Briords, $16, Louis/Dressner Selections. Whaddaya want from me - Dressner brings in good wine. I actually wasn't crazy about the 2007 Briords when I tasted it back in April. But it was just excellent the other night, particularly alongside our linguine with clam sauce. The nose is creamy and bright with citrus notes, exceptionally pure. There is a lovely mingling of citrus and sea shells on the palate, with good acidity and length. This wine goes so well with food - I don't think you have to limit yourself to seafood, as is typically suggested. I think this would go well with lighter cheeses, or dare I say roast chicken? Yes, I dare.

Ah, the Loire valley...still a haven for those among us who want great wine at reasonable prices.


Anonymous said...

>>I'm one of the anomalous natural wine lovers who just can't figure out why everyone goes so crazy over Clos Roche Blanche.<<

You'll recall that you tasted their rosé at Keith's rooftop bbq this summer, and I recall that you liked it a lot.

>>Whaddaya want from me - Dressner brings in good wine.<<

Totally. And I would add that he brings in honest, non-spoofolated wines that have a sense of place.

Michael D. said...

The Clos Roche Blanche Gamay is nearing the top of my " wine of the year" list. Did you polish off the bottle the same night you opened it? Beacuse it was still singing two days after opening. Loire Valley wine is just silly good and relatively cheap. Perfect for a young bohemian living in nyc. How did the bbq go at chez brooklynguy? Any notes?

David McDuff said...

The Loire is definitely where it's at for some of the most characterful under$20 wines on the globe, my friend.

Keep working on Clos Roche Blanche. As Asher suggested, the rosé is awfully good, this year's Sauvignon No. 7 is delicious and their Cuvée Cot can be stellar, though it benefits from some time in the cellar.

kevin gilmore said...

Wait. Was Eric Asimov with you on that night. This post strikes quite a resemblance to today's Asimov's article!! Coincidence?

But on a tasting note, I love these three wines as well. One that neither you or Asimov mentioned has been a favorite of mine for $15! - Cotes de Duras Chateau Haut Lavigne. I Absolutely love the white - great with sushi! and the red with it's unfiltered/unfined goodness is for me, illustrated in a simple ratio: guiness:beer=Chateau Haut Lavigne Rouge:Wine.


Louis/Dressner Selections said...

How come you never respond to my e-mails!

It's very hurtful.

Joe Dressner

Anonymous said...

I wish all you people who can find Clos Roche Blanche Gamay in your local wine shops would just shut up about it.

Brooklynguy said...

asher - you're right, I did like it a lot. that wine was all Pineau D'Aunis, I think.

mike - no, it didn't last that long in my house. it hung around for about 8 hours though, and was great til the end. BBQ was canceled - wife got bad flu, which doesn't pair well with 6 months pregnant.

i will embark on a new CRB journey, as you suggest david.

kevin - i noticed the overlap too, and what can I say - great minds think alike. not surprising really, that sir asimov would pick out a few from the Loire in an under $20 French wine piece. cool that some were the same, and others were quite close. And actually, if you check my back pages, I went nuts over the Siguier Cahors and the Aubuisieres Vouvray some time ago also. I guess this is as good a time as any to announce this: I can read Eric Asimov's mind. Peculiar because it's only his mind I can read, but read it I can.

Joe D! - an honor and a pleasure. I did respond to your email, and quite promptly, I might add. Clearly your email is set to filter out messages from Jewish guys in Brooklyn.

I did notice that it was a fastmail address you wrote from, not your regular email. Would you mind sending me another email from your regular account. I promise to respond within seconds.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love the majority of Dressner's imports, and most Loire valley wines in general. I was suprised to see a few of them profiled in the Times today followed by you. Stop letting the secret out!! Let people sink their money into Bordeaux. I'll stick with my real, honest, Loire valley deals. Great job profiling the wines.


- Chris

Louis/Dressner Selections said...

I sent you another e-mail and you still didn't reply!

This is very upsetting.

Please contact me by e-mail.

Anonymous said...

Hello everybody,

I am from Spain and i don´t know if you would have the chance or tasting this wine i am going to recommend you, but if you can get it over there, just do it and you won´t regret.
Marqués de la Concordia is called. It is a spanish wine, a Rioja one. In Spain you can buy for less than 7 €, and i can say it´s a fantastic wine. For more information: