Sunday, April 12, 2009

2006 Crochet Sancerre with Pasta Fagioli

Berry Falls in Big BasinI visited a friend in San Francisco, and among other things we camped overnight in Big Basin Redwoods State Park. I'm in pretty decent shape but hiking up and down and up and down the Santa Cruz Mountains left my calves feeling a bit sore even two days after the fact. So when I returned to Chicago, I decided to feed them a nice plate of noodles and beans pasta fagioli. I had a meyer lemon handy so I dressed the fagioli in herbs and lemon juice and popped open Lucien Crochet's 2006 Sancerre.

I rarely drink Sancerre, or any sauvignon blanc for that matter, so I was inclined to compare it to the '07 Vacheron I so recently adored. But I thought the better of it (different vintage and all that) and decided to let the Crochet stand on its own delicious merits.

Lucien Crochet Sancerre 2006
According to importer Neal Rosenthal, Crochet sources his "basic" Sancerre from a variety of vineyards, harvests the grapes manually, ferments exclusively in steel tank, and avoids malolactic. In 2006 this led to a wine that ably straddles the gooseberry-grass divide and, more importantly to my palate, is simultaneously creamy and precise.

The aromas suggest lemon and white flowers, while delicate hints of smoke and chalk add intrigue. On the palate the wine is quite ripe but also firm, zesty, and energetic. This shows great poise and the minerality on the finish is pure, clear, and fairly long. Interestingly, I found that a great white pepper note emerged when paired with the lemony — and well-peppered — pasta fagioli.

In other words, the 2006 Crochet fulfilled one of my essential wine commandments: that wine be self-posessed and true but marry well with an appropriate pairing. And at the end of the day — or at least at the end of a hike — what more could I ask for?

Speaking of commandments, happy Easter and Passover to all y'all...


David McDuff said...

I cut my Sancerre teeth on Crochet's wines years ago but haven't had the opportunity to revisit them in ages. Sounds like it's about time.

Wicker Parker said...

This was my first Crochet, so for me it's long past time to try more.

And assuming you've experienced his Sancerre Rouge(s), what's the story on those wines?

TWG said...

You must be reading Asimov's mind, he picked the 2007 Crochet Sancerre as a top pick.

Wicker Parker said...

I will absolutely pick up the 2007 if/when I can find it.