Vouette & Sorbée Champagne Extra Brut “fidèle” (Champagne) — Disgorged 9 October 2013. One of my absolute favorite Champagnes of all time, this is so vinous and delicately red-fruited, yet retains the essential dancing vivacity of Champagne rather than stomping into dark-fruited meunier-land. Brilliant, flawless, and the absolute best partner for Vacherin Mont d’Or you could ever possibly imagine. (7/16)
Coudert 2011 Fleurie Clos de la Roilette (Beaujolais) — Bracing, with its gritty fruit cowering a bit under a quick brake-tire screech. An ill-timed opening, but I’ve no reason to believe things won’t resolve for the better. (8/16)
Texier 2012 Côtes-du-Rhône (Rhône) — All the classic characteristics dialed down to about 7, without sacrificing anything except unnecessary force. This is why one drinks Texier. (7/16)
Maréchal 2002 Chorey-les-Beaune (Burgundy) — Clinging, just, to a post-twilight red haze. More appealing than I make it sound…this is the destiny of a lot of Burgundy…yet certainly not to be held even a day longer. (7/16)
Olliver 2005 Muscadet Sèvre & Maine Sur Lie Clos des Briords “Cuvée Vieilles Vignes” (Loire) — Just at the right point between saline and bones. Strong for eleven year old Muscadet. Delicious. (7/16)
A&P de Villaine 2005 Côte Chalonnaise “La Digoine” (Burgundy) — Faded and tenuous, yet the thin red persistence eventually convinces. It’s a bit too old, though. (7/16)
Lenoir 2001 Chinon “Les Roches” (Loire) — Papillote layers of fine-grained earth, the baritone hum of a pastoral countryside, light grit. A wine you want to chew. And can. (7/16)
Thomas Perseval Champagne “Tradition” (Champagne) — Disgorged March 2015. Planar. Rinds, piths, crystals. (7/16)
Faiveley 1990 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Issarts (Burgundy) — This is the French bottling, purchased directly from Faiveley at release. A French cousin regularly purchased and cellared a handful of Faiveley’s wines, and a number of years back as his health was failing and his doctors told him to stop drinking wine, he started giving away the last of his collection. I was the lucky recipient of a few bottles, and this is the last of them.
In retrospect, I should have opened it earlier. It’s always hard to judge with Faiveley, because there’s so much structure, but this bottle is in a stage where it’s pretty much all structure (mostly tannin) with dusty, dried-out remnants of fruit. That said, what’s there is muscular and brooding, and I think the wine shows its origins pretty clearly.
What the wine lacks in cohesiveness, however, is more than compensated by memory and gratitude. Thank you, Gaston. (6/16)