Browse Tag


Stolen Christmas

C&P Breton 2009 Bourgueil “Trinch!” (Loire) – Scratchy wild berries and herb, all a-stew, brightened by acidity and sharpened by a quinine-like bitterness. Its structure creates an appealing gluggability that empties the bottle in awfully short order. (7/11)

A little overheated

Petit 2006 Bourgueil “Cuvée Ronsard Sélection Particulière” (Loire) – Completely baked. (Norwich Wine & Spirits was the store, Neal Rosenthal the importer, any other middlepersons unknown) (7/11)

Good knight

Chevalier 2010 Val de Loire Pinot Noir (Loire) – I start with a complaint: the “Imported by Kermit Lynch” sur-label of much comment in crankier realms of the internet is, here, completely over the top in comparison to the proprietor’s identity, and highlights exactly why so many people find this respected importer’s new labeling practice difficult to accept, no matter how wise it might seem from the perspectives of branding and marketing. Who’s the most important person with respect to this bottle’s contents, anyway? If it’s Kermit, then fine; importer-directed cuvees aren’t unknown, certainly not from this particular importer. If not…

As for the wine? It’s tasty. Functionally a rosé with a little more precision than normal, not just in terms of its acidity but also in its pure thrust of pinkish-red fruit. Some flaky, bone-like minerality. Despite it being pink, there’s something about the wine that seems to cry out for fish…especially fish straight from the boat, cooked on a warm beach somewhere, a bottle bouquet of this wine resting (in quantity) in barrels of ice. In which situation, I could drink a lot of this. And then, probably, fall asleep on the beach, surrounded by a little shower of “Imported by Kermit Lynch” labels. (7/11)

A carefully-butchered row

Filliatreau 2001 Saumur-Champigny “La Grande Vignolle” (Loire) – Brittle. Dark plum, black soil, and then a MIRV-ing explosion of razor wire. Oddly, despite the bloody retribution the wine apparently seeks to enact, I like this wine. But it needs something alongside that can tame both slashing acidity and cutting tannin. (7/11)

And a slightly redder B

Nicolas “Domaine de Bellivière” 2007 Jasnières “Les Rosiers” (Loire) – Closing? Dying? Bad bottle? Whatever the issue, each bottle of this has been worse than the last. At this point, there’s little reason to drink any more…so I’m going to hold, going on the increasingly conventional wisdom that one can not open Loire chenin blanc from good sites too late, only too early. (7/11)

How, how, how, how

B. Baudry 2009 Chinon Les Granges (Loire) – Lucious spiced rock, loamy earth, misted herb, and fruit dust. That complex, and yet simpler than that as well. I could quite happily drink this in open-spigot quantities. (6/11)

And then I met a 3

Gilbert 2007 Menetou-Salon Blanc (Loire) – Basic, wide brushstrokes of sauvignon blanc, with a wet iron tinge that is (for me) an occasional signature of the appellation. A little short, and filed-down elsewhere along its path, this is more or less or OK. (6/11)

Mushmouth meow

Coste 2005 Coteaux du Giennois “Biau!” (Loire) – 80% gamay, 20% pinot noir. Best well-chilled. Crisp, light, fresh. Tiny wild berries, barely red, offering more of a suggestion of fruit rather than fruit itself. There’s some bone and tooth to the finish, which is quite airy. And yes, I like the pun (the wine’s organic). (6/11)

Where’s Grandpont?

C&P Breton Bourgueil 1997 Grandmont (Loire) – The fruit hangs on, still, and what’s most notable about it isn’t its presence, but its largely primary nature. There’s not much of it anymore, but its keening hum is still as rounded and dark-berried as it was in this wine’s youth. Mostly, though, the fruit’s fade has slowly revealed the post-burn minerality and fine-ground herbs within. As befits a ’97, it’s all a bit forward and upfront; more “classic’ vintages show less fruit but more temporal balance and persistence. (6/11)

No progressive Ls here

Chidaine Montlouis sur Loire Méthode Traditionnelle Demi-Sec (Loire) – One of the most refreshing bottles of this I’ve had, juicy and frothy yet with the chalky underbelly and waxen texture that provide counterpoint to the off-dry fun. Very, very pleasurable. (5/11)