Browse Tag


Breton butter

Cousin 2009 Vin de Table “Anjou Pur Breton” (Loire) – Capital-N Natural, here expressed in an untamed carnival ride of spike, froth, brett, and electricity. May once have had illicit relations with a lambic, given the strong family resemblance. The tannins are oddly sandpapery. It’s not exactly easy to love, but I quite like it…it’s worth noting, however, than one drinking companion – no stranger to the category’s eccentricities – pronounces it “the worst wine I’ve ever tasted.” I can’t say that I’m surprised by the extremity of reaction, because there’s zero compromise in this wine. (4/12)

Rouquin & rollin’

Lemasson 2010 Vin de Table “Le P’tit Rouquin” (Loire) – Gamay, spiky and “natural”…by which, of course, I mean to indicate textural spritz and that carbonic touch of frothy proto-brett that marks the genre across grapes and sites. It’s extremely tasty, gluggable, fresh-faced stuff that should be drawn from taps into pitchers rather than carefully measured into crystal goblets. (11/11)


Costières & Soleil “Sélectionné par Laurence Féraud” 2009 Vin de Table “Plan Pégau” (Rhône) – Even more structured and manly than usual, which makes me wonder if the non-Rhône-traditional grape component of this wine has been upped. Dusty, a bit tarry, and hazy with blackened fruit. The ideal match might be mastodon. (7/11)

Rovere good

Cascina Roera Vino da Tavola “La Rovere” (Piedmont) – Lot LR1, but I can locate no other indication – no matter how secretive, and VdT producers usually find some way to provide this information – of vintage. This is barbera, and I don’t just mean that it’s made from barbera, I mean it is barbera: sharp, violently red, yet precise rather than overwhelming. There’s a dusty minerality that may be about half dark evergreen herbality, but whichever it is it adds great character without dragging the wine into more serious realms than it is willing to enter. Really fabulous for its very simplicity, and the lack of striving for anything other than purity of expression is incredibly welcome. (7/11)

Foulard me once, shame on you

Les Foulards Rouge 2010 Vin de Table “Octobre” (Roussillon) – Spicy, frothy acidity with sharp, boisterous red berries. There’s more to it, thankfully, with earthier and more herbal…well, I was going to write “nuances,” but they’re more like microbursts. Nothing’s quiet in this wine. Fun, if simple. (3/11)

What happened to Compuserve?

Leclerc “Domaine Chahut et Prodiges” 2008 “Coup de canon” Vin de Table (Loire) – Firmly in the rapidly genericizing “natural wine” taste realm of light, dancing fruit on the thin, crisp side of berrydom, a little earth, a lot of vivid acidity, and mild but (for now) thoroughly unobtrusive suggestions of uncleanliness. A lot of fun, in other words. (11/10)

Roussanne, don’t walk away

JP Brun “Terres Dorées” 2008 Vin de Table Roussanne (Beaujolais) – Bright. A roussanne, bright? Oh yes. Aromatic honeysuckle with other flowers, yes. But not heavy at all. Instead, its fresh with good acidity, and really, really good. (6/10)

Julia Mancuso

Martúe 2006 Vino de la Tierra de Castilla (Castilla & León) – Haphazard red fruit, sun-warmed and reasonably acidic. Neither knit nor multisyllabic, but pleasant enough. It says it’s a country wine and it tastes like a country wine. Truth in advertising! (1/10)