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April 2010

Desvignes Chablis 2008

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Grapes: 100% Chardonnay

Background:  Chablis is a northern out lier of the Burgundy region of France.  It's not actually contiguous with the rest of the appellation and its more northern situation makes it too cold to produce much Pinot Noir reliably.  That's just fine though, because the Kimmeridge clay and chalk in the area gives the wines more acidity and, traditionally, a minerally flintiness.  

Aroma:  The wine definitely has some lemon, dry pineapple, and kiwi; but what really gets me is that underneath, there is a smell like a hunk of flint dug out of wet clay with a pick ax!  This really has the traditional Chablis flint to it. 

Taste:  Dry, medium bodied, with bright citrusy fruit and great minerality on the mid-pallet, as you'd expect from the aroma.  The citrus/kiwi fruit is clean and refreshing and then the wet stone quality of the mid pallet comes subtly in.  This wine screams for oysters; winterpoints are great right now, briny, but also rich and meaty.  Or scallops!  The mineral and acid will pair perfectly with the meatiness of seared scallops.  I should know, I ate a bunch this weekend.

Availability:  The Rosemonts, Freeport Cheese and Wine, and Provisions.  One of my favorite things about this is that it's available for somewhere around $16 dollars!  Once again we see the benefit of the falling Euro!


Famille Laurent Saint Pourcain

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Grapes:  50% Gamay, 50% Pinot Noir

Vintage: 2007

Background:  This is something pretty unusual.  A Pinot Noir, Gamay blend from central France.  This comes from near the very head waters of the Loire.  Saint Pourcain was just recently awarded AOC status, mostly based on the strength of this producer. 

Aroma:  This wine combines the characteristics of the two grapes perfectly.  The aroma has the perfumed aromatics of Pinot Noir interwoven with an earthy quality that seems like cigar box to me.  It's a bit woodsy and has some ripe black cherry about it.  It's a beautifully intriguing aroma.

Pallet:  The wine is smooth and has all the racy beguiling velvet texture of a good Pinot Noir, but with a bit more fruit from the Gamay which gives the wine a follow through; a fuller mid-pallet that lives up to what the aroma promised.  It's very smooth and polished.  There are some tannins, but you don't notice them at all, or miss them.  The lovely texture, racy acidity, and vivid aroma of singed wood define this wine and keep me coming back to it.

This is another of my new French wines imported by Maximilien Selections that I am just floored by the complexity and honestly un-apologetic Frenchness of.