Wednesday, December 19, 2007


So, I need a angle for this blog. I already try to taste and promote the odd wines, the lesser-known AOC (and DOC, and AVA) wines, and now I'm going to be a little more firm with my decision. I could live on Chenin Blanc & Riesling. If I made more money, I could limit myself to Champagne (and maybe some other bubbles). I do adore Chardonnay (blanc de blanc Champagnes may be my ideal beverage), but it must be absolutely charming and (almost always) French. Yes, I am biased, and am all for people shifting my paradigm. And I would almost always prefer a white wine than a red. I SAID IT. Yes, I do LOVE red wine, and I used to drink almost entirely red wine, but things have changed, I eat more food that calls for whites, reds are more expensive and appropriately aged vintages are hard to find. And stick my sangiovese in the fridge for a few minutes before you serve it. Pinot noir, merlot, mencia, nebbiolo, sangiovese, aglianico, cab franc, and gamay are kick-ass, but the former two need to be special to really get me hooked. I live in the land of esoterica. If you mention an overly-branded wine, I will cringe.

Here's my current beef with the typical Cali wine shopper/drinker (mind you, I love love love some Cali wines) compared with the typical European wine shopper (aside from the super-Tuscan shopper, who is more like the Cali shopper/drinker and a lot like the Aussie/NZ drinker). Typical drinkers as for brand A Napa Cab, or B Pinot Nor, or C Chardonnay. If you don't have that Brand or Winery they want, they don't care as much what else you have. The typical Euro-drinker says, hey I'm looking for a good White Burg, or a Good dry Mosel rielsing. Or an amazing Brunello. The Cali drinker could come up and ask for a suggestion for a great Napa Cab, but no, that's not an option. Yes, I'm making a bitchy generalization, but it is so prevalent that it makes me crazy. People who are "in to" Euro wines can be even worse than these peeps, but they usually have enough money to do it in the privacy of their own homes.

Drink wierd.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

2004 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet

Lately I've been drawn to whites significantly more than reds. Whether it be the stalwarts of Riesling, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc, or the slightly more esoteric Erbaluce and Romorantin, or the ol' favorites of Roussanne and Verdejo, I find whites to be more intricate, delicate, affordable, and and varied. Right now. Even as Chicago is covered in a blanket of down, I am drinking ever-so-slightly chilled Puligny-Montrachet from Domaine Leflaive from 2004.

Yes, it is to early to be drinking this baby, I give it at least 3 years before blossom. My bottle was also slightly defective, but I think the juice is fine. On first sniff, oak. As I cringe, the wine opens to slightly floral, lemon curd, and hazelnut skin aromas, all still overriden with the toast of a handful of new barrels. The oak plays nice and doesn't dominate the palate, but lets some of the lemon curd, butter, apple, pear, and spice notes dance around. The texture comes across very nice, a balance between reasonable (not outstanding) acid structure, pleasant viscosity for the winter, and a statuesque delicacy. Still, the damn oak is too much right now. It needs at least three years, and about five would be best, I think. Oi. Still, some electric Puligny. Nice.