Browse Tag


Galley slave

C&P Breton 2004 Bourgueil Les Galichets (Loire) – The initial impression is one of dominant brett, but this initial bloom is soon overcome by dark, scowling fruit seeping its juices into a brown, muddy soil. Despite the still-fair structure, the overall effect of the wine is a little soupy, or perhaps more accurately stew-like. Lingering tannin pairs with the Band-Aid brett to provide an edge right through to the finish. Given the current state and the closure, I’m not sure this is something I’d hold much longer, unless one is exceedingly optimistic about winning the synthetic cork lottery…despite the odds. (6/09)

Coudraye pants

[vineyard]Amirault 2004 Bourgueil “La Coudraye” (Loire) – Edgy. No, the wine’s not pushing any envelopes or breaking any taboos…I mean that this is a wine with edges, and they haven’t been filed down. Dark, slightly wild berries with no appreciable fruit-sweetness carry a little infusion of thyme (one of those exotic varieties, heady with aroma), there’s a foundation of dark earth hardened by time, and the quite-present tannin is as scraping as it is balanced. There’s no lack of acidity, either. The dominant aromatic characteristic, however, is raw tobacco, and while I quite like its expression in this wine, those reflexively indisposed to cabernet franc will probably interpret it as green. It’s nothing of the sort. All these positives thus said, I still wonder if the wine has the cohesiveness for aging, or whether it might not be better to drink it in its explosive adolescence. (4/09)

Trinch your cheeks

C&P Breton 2005 Bourgueil “trinch!” (Loire) – For about a half-hour, there’s an is-this-corked? mustiness and ungenerosity to the nose that I’ve found is more than occasionally the aromatic signature of ultra-natural wines. But it can’t be corked under this particular closure, and so there’s nothing to do but wait it out. Eventually, the mist and shroud turns to something earthier, though it never quite stops obscuring the rest of the aromatics. OK, then, how about the palate? Well, it’s full of black dirt and freshly-plowed anger, slashed with fine acidity and shreddings of tobacco. I suppose it’s hard to tell from this note, but other than the difficult nose I quite like the wine, and it’s absolutely enticing with food. But I’d choose my drinking companions with some care. (12/08)

Mornings of hangoverness

C&P Breton 2002 Bourgeuil “Nuits d’Ivresse” (Loire) – Held for the sake of curiosity. I can’t say it’s “better” than at release, but it’s certainly delicious; the grassy/herbal/green skeleton is a little more exposed than before, but the gorgeous aromatics and thorough completeness of the wine remain. This convinces even the dedicated Harlan drinker at our table, after an initial bout of puzzled confusion, which I consider some sort of victory. Drink up, though. (5/08)