Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Complantation (with an uberCool website) and Chasselas

Belated post. Spurred on as a sort-of response to Brooklyguy’s post on Alsace. As it is the second day where it feels like fall around here (Yay!), I have decided to finish the post I meant to write, oh, in June.

When the Chicago Green City Market just got in a good swing, with lovely berries, spring onions, and asparagus everywhere I began my veggilicious diet.

I sautéed some of the aforementioned spring veggies and some basil and tossed it with some Bucati and grates some Pecorino on top. It was fantastic. And you know what else was fantastic—the wine.

Marcel Deiss, Englegarten, 2002, $35

No sign of age on this baby at all! I love many things about Deiss—Biodynamics, complantation, and sheer yumminess. While Deiss’s traditional varietally-labeled wines are fantabulous, his “vins de terroir” are a giant leap up in complexity. (His website is kick-ass. It’s in French, but you can figure things out. There’s this killer I’m-riding-in-a-helicopter zoom in on each particular vineyard that I love! I watched it at work for like 20 minutes one day.) Anyway, all of Deiss’s “vins de terroir” are made from many varietals “complanted” in the same vineyard. The Engelgarten is definitely the entry-level blend, even at about $35, and consists of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Beurot, Muscat, and Pinot Noir—the exact percentages not given. Super-interesting golden fruit aroma, from lemon to very ripe yellow apple and all fruits in between, a definite floral note, and a slight sweet/herbal note and MAYBE a hair of RS, but not much. I love the Englegarten because the acid is always soprano high. Where some of Deiss’s wines broaden out too far, this one is always simultaneously held back yet generous. I like to think of myself as a bit of an Englegarten. Heh. It’s hard to describe the actual flavors of this, but easy to say you should grab a bottle.

Here are some pictures of the Englegarten vineyard from his website:

Then, a few weeks later I too Carl’s advice (who has the #1 best blog ever…about PORK), and brined a pork loin and roasted it with a molasses-mustard glaze and roasted some onions and carrots and broccoli and shared it with my two besties in my teeny apartment.

And we had a bottle of Albert Boxler. The Pork Was Fantastic. Thanks Carl.

Albert Boxler, Chasselas, 2005, $19


According to Wikipedia, some believe this grape is Egyptian and 5,000 years old, and some believe its Swiss. I read the former in Hugh Johnson’s book. Hmm. Anyway, I LOVE Boxler’s wines like I do Deiss’s and a few other domaines’. Boxler is always on the mark, from the grand (and value, even @ $28) Riesling to the Edelzwicker. The Chasselas, usually a poo-poo non-noble grape variety found in Switz and in Pouilly-sur-Loire in France. From Boxler’s lovely estate in Niedermorschwihr (say that five times fast) comes this golden nectar. Sort of rich and round enough to stand up to the pork, a tad pinot blanc-y, all I recall are honey, apple, and some spice notes, with great body and lots of yum-factor. I loved this wine and it is a steal at the price. I don’t remember much else, but impressive. Boxler puts lots of love in this ignoble variety. Status: elevated.

And another one for good measure:

Kuentz-Bas Alsace 2005, $12

WOW value! Not the most profound bottle of wine ever, but for $12, I’d buy plenty! Since Indiana like only has Kermit Lynch wines (Grr. The fact that I can't get any LDM vino breaks my little heart. Seriously, I browse the Chambers Street website and drool. Someone PLEASE carry these wines in Indiana or I’ll have to do it myself.) Very nice little blend of the ignoble varieties 60% Sylvaner, 15% Chasselas, 15% Muscat, 10% (the always-a-different-grape) Auxerrois. Lightly floral and Muscat-y, with a touch of honey and just a light mineral/citrus/pear tone to the fruit. Nothing complex, but would be a fantastic by-the-glass sort of wine. Mmm. Need to buy more. I had it with some cheese and friends. I love upstairs neighbor!

Look! I found a pic with the cepage!

Ok, I’m done now.



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