White Bordeaux

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Rethinking White Bordeaux.

Audience: [moans & grunts]

Release your prejudice. I did. Not until after the tasting, of course.

It had been quite awhile since a white Bordeaux touched my lips. Probably a few years ago in a WSET class. Before that it was in Brooklyn. About 6+ years ago I was at a show at Barbès. I wanted something cold. White Bordeaux the chalkboard read. I placed my order and slammed it. It was insignificant, but cold. It filled my need at the time. But who even knows where to find one?

I think white Bordeaux might be a refreshing by the glass replacement for all the cheap New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc’s that seem to dominate those tiny wine lists in the venues where many of us refuse to drink wine. You know the places. For instance, your local dive bar or your favorite music venue.

I had a preferred the selections where Sémillon was 30-50% of the blend.

Standouts:

2010 Château Marsalette – 50/50 Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon – Pessac-Léognan (Jeffery M. Davies Selection)

2014 Château Respide-Médeville Graves Blanc Sec50/48/2 Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon/Muscadelle (Martine’s Wines)

2014 La Croix de Carbonnieux Blanc – 65/35 Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon – Pessac-Léognan (Duclot La Vinicole)

Thank you @anthonycailan for the invite.

White Bordeaux

Once you go Champagne…

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GRAPE: Pinot Noir/Chard REGION: Champagne COUNTRY: France AVE PRICE: $47

CHAMPAGNE FLEURY!

I’m over the PetNat (AKA: Sparkling wine for the impoverished) craze. Don’t take me too literally of course there are PetNats I adore, but there are plenty more that I abhor. So many bottles are mislabeled wine that are actually lemon juice with alcohol. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.

The Fleur de l’Europe Brut Nature mouthful of liquid luxury with childhood playground energy. It’s rich with a beautiful salty and floral expression. Focused and tightly structured with teeny tiny bubbles. A combo of Pinot Noir & Chardonnay, aged 6 years on lees. Fleury was the first winemakers in Champagne to convert their vineyard to biodynamic in 1998.

WEB: Fleury

Once you go Champagne…

Gamay!

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GRAPE: Gamay REGION: Morgon COUNTRY: France AVE PRICE: $35

Been in the goddamn mood for Gamay lately. So perfect on a lonely night. Perfect for filling holes in the head and heart. 2014 Domaine Foillard Morgon Beaujolais “Cuvée Corcelette”. Fresh and vibrant from 80 year old vines. Crispy edge, soft spices, rocky outlines. Wild berries. Delicious fun.

WEB: Domaine Foillard

Gamay!

Champain Killer

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GRAPE: Chardonnay APP: Champagne COUNTRY: France PRICE: $51

I feel surrounded by a paralyzing energy. If I could, I’d wrap a big bandage filled with love around the earth. It’s occupants are wounded. A big cheers to those who love and a big fuck you to those who don’t. And so long to my neighbor who committed suicide this morning. Although I didn’t really know you well. I’m going to plant some flowers in your honor.

On a lighter note. I need to drink more Champagne, so I can learn more about Champagne. But I’ll need to drink more Champagne. And who can afford Champagne? I love Champagne. I think Champagne is a need, not a want. I’ve had maybe 4 bottles of Champagne this year. So I don’t have much to compare this to. Regardless, Champagne Doyard Revolution has tiny, tight, persistent bubbles. It’s gentle. A load of finesse like a ballet dancer moving across a stage. All pleasure in the mouth. It’s looks pretty, smells like a pretty, taste pretty, and makes you feel good. Even on an ugly day like today where we could use some smiles. @champagne_doyard @skurnikwines

WEB: Skurnik Wines

Champain Killer

2015 SAINT JOSEPH DOMAINE FAURY

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GRAPE: Syrah REGION: Saint-Joseph COUNTRY: France AVE PRICE: $30

I was jonesing for a red yesterday after a long streak of mainly white, orange, and sparkling. It cooled down quite a bit last night making this a perfect re-introduction to reds. The Faury smells and taste of a beautiful spicy orgy of pepper, meats, and herbs. Considering how it’s dark and heavy in the glass but hits your mouth quite light. And all you tannin sissies can relax, they’re fine and will treat your mouth gently. It’s delicious. It has definitely put syrah back on my radar.

WEB: Domaine Faury

2015 SAINT JOSEPH DOMAINE FAURY

Le Clou 34

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GRAPE: Aligoté REGION: Burgundy COUNTRY: France AVE PRICE: $39

Yeah, I would have guessed this one wrong. Maybe a Chardonnay, maybe Chenin. The grape. 100% Aligoté. Rich. Creamy. Savory. Round. Plush. Creaminess sometimes puts me off. But, not always. But it’s a very good wine and I’m sure a pleasure to consume with anything from a sea shell. Know about sulfites? Personally, I don’t give a rats ass about this subject. But considering the scary anti-sulfite cult roaming the streets, I feel the need to address the issue. I’m at a loss with this one because I was told no sulfites added. The bottle says, contains sulfites. The tech sheet says (Long pressing, in whole grapes, without adding sulfites) then it says, (Light sulphiting at setting). From tech sheet: Total SO: 37 mg / l — SO2: 20 mg / l. I’m left to assume sulfites were added after secondary fermentation. I searched other notes regarding the wine and people keep referring to this wine as unsulfured. Are they talking about a different vintage? I have no idea, I’m asking. Again, this isn’t so important to me, but what is important is communication. I think a whole lot of you are full of shit and have no idea wtf goes on behind closed doors at a winery regardless of what information is divulged. The crew might be vomiting in the barrels for all you know.

WEB: Naudin Ferrand

Instagram: @winemc2 @clairenaudin

UPDATE (comments from instagram)

  • soilexpedition15 wasn’t a very good example of her elegant and beautifully austere juice she usually puts out.
  • winemc2Hi @awordtothewine ..
  • winemc2Claire Naudin does a larger part of her wine “fermented without sulfites”
  • winemc2a dismal amount is added prior bottling no fining or filtration done
  • winemc2and no vomiting in barrel ether 😉
  • trentslattonWell said on the “anti sulfite cult roaming the streets”. A lot of them drink really off tasting, overpriced wine because it’s currently in vogue. I don’t buy that bs. A lot of it taste very amateur. There is a reason that things evolve. The process gets better. Sulfites protect from oxidation. We all know this, hopefully. It lasts longer.
Le Clou 34

The Ladies of Champagne – 5/12/16

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Flashback 5/12/16.

I arrived @JFKAirport at 3PM after a pleasant @JetBlue flight. I jumped on the A to the F to @BryantParkNYC to meet the self-proclaimed socialist banker @sammyasoli who graciously offered me his luxury apartment in Park Slope. Bryant Park was alive and well, there must have been 10 suits per square foot. We walked, we talked, and sat on the steps of the @nypl discussing things I care not to share. The conversation quickly dissolved into wallpaper music as the anticipation of bubbles in my mouth swirled in the windmill of my mind. I jumped back on the F to West 4th, scurried across West 3rd, passing the infamous Blue Note and the ghost of Bleecker Bob’s. I turned the corner and my internal GPS alert went off, “you have arrived”.  Exhausted from little sleep. Dirty from plane and train. Dragging my ass as well as a small suitcase. I reset myself and proceeded down the stairs at 127 Macdougal St. As I stepped through the doorway @riddlingwidownyc I was greeted with open arms by the host. She graciously stored my suitcase, and within moments poured me a glass of bubbles.

The Riddling Widow was opened by Ravi DeRossi in 2015 and currently being operated by Ariel Arce. It’s an intimate basement space. A low ceiling, beautiful floor, and dimly lit. The appeal for me is that you feel like you’re in someone’s living room as opposed to a business. In this case you’re in Ariel’s living room and she is a special host.

Ariel treated each of her guests with love and care. This didn’t feel like a business. It wasn’t a forced effort of customer service. It was heartfelt. When you walk into the Riddling Widow, you’re in Ariel’s home. This is the definition of true hospitality. This became clearer after listening to the recent Danny Meyer interview conducted by Levi Dalton. Danny Meyer said he returns to the places where he felt most loved. This is what you’ll experience at Riddling Widow.

It was very much a family affair that evening. Ariel’s father was in the kitchen preparing food and made a an excellent pâté. I was fortunate to have a great conversation with him regarding photography and technology. I appreciated the insight as a former professional photographer. Her mom also a photographer, was busy documenting the evening.

On to the wine. Five sparklers were served. There were two I still haven’t been able to stop thinking about. The opening sparkler was “Horse”, an exciting and flavorful sparkling Cabernet Franc (#PetNat) made by Gabriella Macari from @macariwine out in the North Fork of Long Island. And as good fortune would have it, Gabriella stopped by and I had the opportunity to speak to her about her wine. Although this vintage is sold out, she will be making another.

I fell in deeply love with sparkler number two. It was a Champagne, ‘Extra Brut’ by Marie-Noëlle Ledru from Ambonnay. Each bottle is hand-riddled, hand-disgorged. She works naturally. No insecticides or herbicides used in farming. No filtration, no sulfites at disgorgement. It was chalky, smoky, textured, great minerality, lively acidity, and a bit lemony. Paired with caviar equals a smile. 

WEB: Riddling Widow & Macari Wines & Marie-Noëlle Ledru

 

The Ladies of Champagne – 5/12/16