Thursday, March 25, 2010

Feelin' Groovy

Groovy!I'd like to deliver a big Bronx cheer to the distributor or shop (whichever applies) for ruining not one but two bottles of 2005 Chidaine demi-secs — both were heat-damaged beyond drinking — which incidentally ruined my planned "demi-sec faceoff" post. Nevertheless, I'm feeling pretty groovy this week. Health care legislation passed, I'm planning a trip abroad, March has (excepting today) been particularly warm in Chicago, and I haven't yet been laid off from my job. In that vein, here are two wines I've had recently that I thought were pretty groovy.

i Clivi Colli Orientali del Friuli Galea 1999
Winemaker Mario Zanusso (see the controversial interview on Mondoaspore) aims to make wines that are both natural and clean, and this shows in this 10+ year old blend of Friulano and Verduzzo. This is still fresh and clean to its core but it's also, thanks to its age, on the umami side of things. I actually couldn't name any specific fruit flavors in this wine; I wouldn't say it tasted like pear, for example, or apple. The fruit's definitely there, but it's been sublimated. It's a subtle wine, fairly full on the palate, and chalky-dry. The structure here is beautiful. I paired this with a turmeric and coriander-inflected vegetable stir fry, although a lavishly-prepared pork dish with a reduction would have done the wine more justice, but both the wine and I were well-served nevertheless. A very impressive wine.

Domaine Gros Frère et Soeur Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Blanc 2004
Speaking of aged whites, I really liked this white Burgundy, too. It's not often that you see an Hauts Cotes de Nuits blanc in the US, or at least not in Chicago, but here it is. The domaine has a rep for making quite oaky reds, but this blanc is nice. It shows flowers, brown spices, and just a hint of vanillin oak on the nose. More spice crops up on the palate, with tart pear fruit and the tiniest hint of mushroom, and it's still very fresh tasting, with terrific acidity. It's linear and focused and still shows good presence and balance across the entire palate. And there are plenty of minerals on the long finish. This one I did match with pork (dry rubbed and roasted), and it was a good match.


Jason Zenobia said...

Love the info on White Burgundy. That is a wine that always seems too extravagant for me and I never know what to pair it with.

I hope you got your money back on those bottles!

Your post makes me think of a question, hope you don't mind:

Do you have a suggestion for a good Alsatian Pinot Blanc? There's a Tavern near here that serves oysters on the half shell and I thought a nice Pinot Blanc would be perfect. Or, something in the European, mineral style without a lot of fruit... Your thoughts?

PS Love the "made for walkin'" boots!

Wicker Parker said...

For oysters on the half shell, I'd pick a Chablis or a Muscadet. The latter is often deliciously briny at just $12 so it's a better match for the wallet than a comparably delicious Chablis. Most Alsatian pinot blanc will be a bit too sweet and fruit-driven for oysters.

Off for services at Our Lady of the Brunch. See ya!

Jason Zenobia said...

Just FYI, I've had several Alsatian Pinot Blancs that have had no trace of sweetness to them, just that lovely, dry light quality.

Thanks for the tip to cute boys with cats. Love it.

PS My word verification is actually "pothead."

Wicker Parker said...

Well, it could just be my inexperience with Alsatian pinot blanc, as I haven't had many, but the good, dry ones I have had (e.g. Chateau d'Orschwihr) have had a good dose of orchard and/or melon fruit along with the minerals, and I wouldn't think to pair them with bivalves. But if you find one that works, let me know!

Jason Zenobia said...

Need more Wicker Parker! Post again soon darling. Your fans need you!