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Bill Roussel

Roussel & Barrouillet “Clos Roche Blanche” 2007 Touraine “Cuvée Gamay” (Loire) – Clinging, barely, to the tatters of a life shortened by a closure insufficient to the task. There are some lovely red soil aromatics, but everything around and beneath them has fallen into ruin. (3/12)

Gamaybe not

Roussel & Barrouillet “Clos Roche Blanche” 2007 Touraine “Cuvée Gamay” (Loire) – Probably the best of a bad lot, by which I don’t mean that the wine was ever bad, but that the accidental decision to cellar it without realizing the cork was synthetic has led to a lot of dumped wine. This, at least, clings to a sharp cranberried minerality, and there’s a hint of the generosity that was in the finish. Like the others, though, it’s attenuated and shrieking with bared acidity. Thankfully, there’s no more. (2/12)

Colette. First service.

Gauthier “Domaine de Colette” 2009 Moulin-à-Vent “Vieilles Vignes” (Beaujolais) – One does not, as a rule, look to Moulin-à-Vent for early approachability. Even the circus-clown Dubœuf bottlings can be a little brutish in their (briefer than normal) youth. And 2009 is no vintage for quaffers and guzzlers, from any appellation. And yet, here is the exception to every expectation. A wine full of sines and cosines in wave form, a black pulsar of low-level red-fruited radiation, a neutron-star core of particulate minerality, and a soft, quickly-fading finish. The temptation to call it a bad wine just because it’s so obviously “wrong” is, itself, wrong; it’s not a bad wine, though I dare not ask how it arrived at this point. In fact, it’s exceedingly pleasurable.  (2/12)

Vissoux me

Chermette “Domaine du Vissoux” 2008 Fleurie Poncié (Beaujolais) – Closed and weird. And I don’t discount the possibility that there’s something wrong with this bottle. (11/11)

Vegneron & on

La Crotta di Vegneron 2007 Vin d’Ardèche Gamay (Rhône) – Brittle gamay, not fully “ripe” in that the fruit lacks flesh, but with its own appeal as a result. Tinny, perhaps, or put more charitably: high-toned without being overly volatile, and crisp. Lengthily crisp. Crisply long. Whichever. (11/11)

Pause, Undo, Repeat

P·U·R 2010 Morgon Cote du Py (Beaujuolais) – Hmmm. Like half a Morgon – the brawling (for Beaujolais), muscular part – without any of the rest that makes it a complete wine. It’s chalky, angular, and void. There’s hesitation from the staff as I’m served this, hesitation as we (“we” including folks who’ve had it elsewhere, with better results) drink it, and a post-consumption questioning by the server that indicates to me none of the involved parties were entirely happy with this bottle’s performance. So I’m going to guess this is unrepresentative until presented with evidence to the contrary…especially as I can’t believe that so many of my like-palated friends have simultaneously lost said palates. (11/11)

Roilette paper

Coudert 2008 Fleurie Clos de la Roilette (Beaujolais) – Awkward, its acidity gangly and uncoordinated with body (itself tart and brilliant red). There’s some gravel, as well, but it rests in a pile in the corner, awaiting some sort of conclusion to the motion. Whether bottle-specific or a general comment on maturation, I can’t say. But this is an elbows-and-knees drinking experience. (1/12)

Breathe that Valli ères!

Burgaud 2008 Régnié Vallières (Beaujolais) – Burly, as is more or less the Burgaud house style, with its darkish minerality really showing amidst a violet-hued brew of moderately spiky fruit. As much about structure as forwardness, which is a combination of Burgaud and of age-since-release; normally I’d say this is just closing a bit, but my longer-term experiences with this bottling in other vintages lead me to think it’s just going to sit on this spot for a good number of years, then fade, scowling, into the sunset. So I’m drinking mine. (12/11)


JP Brun “Terres Dorées” 2011 Beaujolais Nouveau “l’Ancien Vieilles Vignes” (Beaujolais) – I’m not the first person, I think, to opine that whatever most natural (red) wines are trying to be, what they’re trying to taste like is Beaujolais Nouveau. Or rather, perhaps, some sort of paradigmatic ideal thereof. Which I don’t know if this is, but it makes a good case for itself. I’ve had more non-Nouveau-like Nouveau, by which I mean wine that tastes less like it was rushed through its fermentation and more like a straightforward Beaujolais, but the fun of the exuberant purpleness (12/11)