Sunday, January 17, 2010

A couple recent bottles

Wines like these are right up my alley.

Although people who spend their free time thinking about wine (nerds) like to debate the utility of Aligote, I've long found it interesting, I'm sure in part due to its relative obscurity. The Bouzeron AOC is the northernmost land in the Cote Chalonnaise, just south of the famed Cote d'Or (home to legendary expressions of Chardonnay). Made from Aligote, the whites of Bouzeron certainly aren't life-changing, but they can be simple and pleasant, especially with appropriate fare. Lesser examples may be nondescript and a little too round for my liking, but in the right hands I find them distinctive and refreshing. Best of all, the freight is cheap, with top examples, from the likes of famed estate A&P De Villaine, maybe around $25, and solid examples significantly less.

The 2007 from Domaine Rois Mages (Anne-Sophie Debavelaere, proprietaire), imported by Wine Traditions, Ltd., hit the spot with strong acidity, minerality and citrus. I purchased it from Garagiste. For some reason drinking this bottle made me think of pinot blanc (not usually a flattering comparison), but I learned from the oracles that that might not be a coincidence since Aligote is a member of the "greater pinot family," whatever that means.

I don't drink a lot of wine from Spain (with the joyous exception of the riojas of R. Lopez de Heredia, an iconic winery the bottles of which I try to always keep close at hand), but this region in general and estate in specific speaks to me. Rather than attempting to summarize great writing, read all about it for yourself here.

This 2007 vina do burato from D. Ventura (Ribeira Sacra D.O., mencia grape, imported by De Maison Selections) had a near perfect balance of fruit and earth, with supporting acidity running throughout. I bought this on super sale at Wine Discount Center for $10, for which this wine scores a big win in the value column. I wish I had more of it. Buying wine before tasting is a no win situation- if you buy only a little, it will be good, and you will regret not buying more. If you buy a lot, it will be mediocre, and find its way into a pot on the stove.

January in Chicago makes me crave food like this: Buffalo and Pancetta Meat Loaf with a side of mac and cheese, which the D. Ventura cleaned up nicely. It's the simple things in life.

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