Sunday, April 20, 2008

Vouvray & Beaujolais

If I were trapped on a desert island, I would take Vouvray and Beaujolais.
No. Let me rephrase that. If I had a little cafe, I'd have only five wines on the list: Champagne, Vouvray, Beaujolais, and a sticky--either a muscat-based light, fresh wine, or a fortified banyul-style sort of wine. But the Vouvray and Beaujolais are the core of the wine list. I wouldn't just stick with one of each, I'd switch it up every so often. But I'd try to keep it lively, fresh, yet still complex and absolutely food friendly focused. Here are a few of the wines that inspired me:

Francois Pinon Vouvray Tradition 2006
Something about this producer is like a hug. It's not over the top in it's components, the sweetness of a vin tendre, just to balance the acidity. Not too much richness or too much minerality, but the touch of minerals gives the wine some verve, nerve, and grounding. Golden raisins, apricots, meyer lemon, minerals, and a kiss of spiced pear. Subltle, happy, and something I could drink any day of the week.

Others that constantly inspire me and would make it to my list:
Francois Chidaine "Les Argiles" 2005 (Really, any of his wines.)
Domaine des Aubuisières 2006 "Cuvée de Silex"
Francois Pinon Vouvray Petillant Brut (Bubbles in my Vouvray? Anytime, anywhere.)
(I could mention Foreau or Huet on here, but, duh, they kick some Chenin ass and I love them.)

Pierre Chermette/Domaine du Vissoux 2005 Beaujolais
I adore Chermette's Vieilles Vignes Beaujolais, and Moulin-a-Vent that I have tasted, but the super-basic Beaujolais is amazing. Deep glossy, almost opaque purple, with the perfect balance of full-fledged fruit and smooth acidity make this little bugger one of the most simply satisfying wines I have tasted in recent memory. Blackberries, black cherries, a touch of minerals and a seamless integration of pure flavors. Chermette only uses indigenous yeasts and minimal handling, and is based in Saint Verand, on the very northern edge of the Beaujolais, which is an ideal spot for superb values.

I swoon for Beaujolais--here are a few other reasons:
Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2006
Jean-Paul Thevenet Morgon 2006
Jean Foillard Morgon 2006 (If you've never tasted any of these three, stop reading this now, and find some.)
Chateau Thivin Cote du Brouilly 2005 & 2006
Domaine Dichon Moulin-a-Vent 2005
La Madone Beaujolais "Le Perreon" 2005
Chignard Fleurie "Les Moriers" 2002 (Yes, beautifully aged Beaujolais.)
Chatelard Beaujolais-Villages 2006

I just feel that at this moment, or maybe a year or two ago, wines from these two regions represent values--and are both underappreciated and...yummy.


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