Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Diamond in the Rough

There's this wine store in my neighborhood whose selection is pretty boring, on the whole. But I go in there because amidst the uninteresting wines, it's possible to stumble on a total anomaly, something brilliant and unexpected. Like the 4 bottles of 2004 Puzelat Touraine Pineau D'Aunis I found the other day. Sitting there sandwiched between the J Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon and the Jacob's Creek Shiraz. Well, not exactly, but you get my point.

I was cautious, actually. Why would they have this wine? The 2006 is on retail shelves now. Was the '04 stored properly? And even if it was, does Pineau D'Aunis improve or decline with three plus years in the bottle?

Turns out Pineau D'Aunis can be delicious if it has a couple of years in the bottle to think things over and if Thierry Puzelat, natural wine maker extraordinaire made it.

2004 Thierry Puzelat Touraine La Tesnière Pineau D'Aunis, $18, Louis/Dressner Selections. Gorgeous rose petal color. Clean and fresh strawberry and cracked black pepper aromas, with a hint of caramel running underneath. The wine is lively in the mouth, with strawberry juice, something herbal, and black pepper, all floating in a pool in of pure spring water. Everything is integrated nicely at this point - it might be the perfect time to drink this wine. Well balanced with good acidity and 12.5% alcohol. What a gem!

Sorry, I went back and grabbed the last three bottles. But you can find the 2006 and maybe lay down a bottle or two.


Anonymous said...

Up until a few months ago I may never have knowingly consumed a bottle of Pineau d'Aunis yet now the varietal is front and center on my radar screen. What put it there for me was the Clos Roche Blanche version. Incidentally, Puzelat's 2004 Telquel (which may have some Pineau d'Aunis in it) also seems the perfect age right now.

Brooklynguy said...

steve - you're up early, i see. i've never tasted the clos roche blanche l'arpent rouge, but i understand that it's supposed to be magnificent. next vintage i'm grabbing some.

Anonymous said...

nice find neil. it's always fun to stumble on finds like that. i remember about 5 or so years ago finding giacomo conterno's nebbiolo d'alba at a grocery store called wellspring in chapel hill, nc of all places. i bought all 8 bottles for somewhere around $10/bottle. (okay, maybe it was more than 5 years ago.

btw, i just started nibbling on the dressner offerings that are in store and on pre arrival at chambers, based on your recent post. picked up pinon, puzelat gamay,tue beouf gamay'pinot blend, and clos roche blanche larpent rouge, and the rose they make from pinot d'aunis.

Anonymous said...

Imagine that! I'm drinking a 2004 Puzelat pineau d'aunis right now!

Anonymous said...

Puzelat! J'Adore Puzelat!

Steve L: Your are right about the Telquel being nice right now!

I am hitting San Francisco tomorrow night for a concert with a friend. I may need to stop by Terroir Wine Bar on the way there or after!

Joe Manekin said...

Glad to see that you decided to give PdA another chance. The bottle age has got to help with the grape's initial in your face, sappy qualities.

Brooklynguy said...

hey bill - sounds like you got some good stuff. let us know what you like. and i'm going to go ahead and agree with you - more than 5 years ago.
i hear good things about terroir from steve l. how was it brian?

old skool - i've never tried puzelat's before. it was the belleviere that i wasn't crazy about in 05. i'm a dedicated Pd'A fan though.

Peter Liem said...

Great post, Neil. I love this wine too. I like Clos Roche Blanche, and I love Eric Nicolas's pineau d'aunis, but the Puzelat is just so slurpable and viscerally satisfying. I was at Thierry's place last week and he only opened Tue-Boeuf wines -- I wanted very badly to ask for pineau d'aunis but he was so generous in opening wines that I was a bit shy!

Brooklynguy said...

peter! always an honor and a pleasure to see you around these parts. i enjoy those other wines too (although i wasn't crazy about the 05 rouge gorge from belliviere). and i agree, Thierry's is just so drinkable. i'm jealous of your life in wine, visiting folks like Thierry, living in Champagne. take it easy-