Frick 2004 Chasselas (Alsace) – Vague pear and leafy citrus cream aromas gain weight and substance on the palate, with a little bit of the necessary Alsatian spice along for the ride. It’s a light wine, but with enough presence to move the wine from its usual role as apéritif to a supporting role as a food companion.
As I’ve noted before, chasselas isn’t a grape with a future in Alsace. Those that succeed – Schoffit comes to mind, and then there’s JosMeyer – mostly do so due to sheer weight, rather than balance. Frick, however, achieves the lightness and elegance that the wine should possess, with just enough palate weight to make things interesting. As for the spice, I have a Master Sommelier friend who claims that chasselas is the most terroir-revelatory grape in the world, mostly due to its varietal absenteeism. This wine doesn’t make the case either way, but it does show that the revelation is at least possible in Alsace. Alcohol: 11.5%. Biodynamic. Closure: crown cap. Importer: Violette.
Labouré-Roi 2000 Gevrey-Chambertin (Burgundy) – Broad-shouldered and hefty at first uncorking, with pretty but slightly clumsy aromatics in the red fruit-and-dried-leaves range, buffeted by some structural density. With air, however, things grow inexorably more vegetal and disjointed, and while the structure remains the aromatics fall away. I guess the lesson is: drink it really, really fast.
Never a producer on the tip of anyone’s tongue when it comes to quality red Burgundy, though occasional plaudits are supplied for value. This wine, which relies very much on the proper integration between aromatics, fruit and structure, fails where lighter, more “feminine” Burgundies from this négociant occasionally succeed. Alcohol: 13%. Closure: cork. Importer: Palm Bay. Web: http://www.laboure-roi.com/