Sedimentary Wine French Portfolio Tasting
I attended the Sedimentary Italian portfolio tasting a couple months ago. They recently hosted a second tasting of their French (and other) wines, most of which have never been in this market. There were several serious discoveries. My choices are as follows:
Nikolaihof Hefearbzug Gruner Veltliner 2011: Ok, so it’s Austrian, not French. But Nikolaihof is one of that country’s greatest producers and the most traditional of traditionalists. They have been farming biodynamically for hundreds of years (out of necessity, as they could not afford chemicals). Now there is a philosophical motivation to Nikolaihof’s biodynamics and traditional vinification. This entry-level wine is open, delicious and ready to drink. Unlike all of this winery’s higher end wines, there is no need to age this. Very Good. $34 list.
Terres Dorees Roussanne 2010: From Beaujolais, this is textbook Roussanne with combined balance and flavour that most producers in the Rhone cannot achieve. Structured enough to avoid the flabbyness to which Roussanne can be prone, but unctuous enough to be delicious. Very Good+. $29 list.
Domaine Pattes Loup Chablis 2011: Not only was Pattes Loup (Wolf’s Paw) the most exciting white of the tasting, but this Domaine (headed by Thomas Pico) is one of the most exciting to come out of Chablis, period. And it’s the first time this producer is available in this market. The entry level Chablis is extremely good, and quite forward and juicy and very high quality for its price. The 1er crus are where this producer truly shines, however. Very Good+. $37 list.
Domaine Pattes Loup Chablis 1er Cru Cote de Jouan 2011: While priced higher than most of Fevre’s premier crus, these are serious, serious wines, well worth the few extra dollars. These are some of the best 2011’s I’ve had (a weak vintage), and I can’t wait to try top vintages. Cote de Jouan is a little known premier cru but was the better showing of the two wines at the tasting, with killer savoriness but impressive fruit density and balance. These are complete Chablis, teetering perfectly between acid and fruit. Excellent to Excellent+. $55 list.
Domaine Pattes Loup Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux 2011: From the more famous premier cru Butteaux (from which Raveneau makes a famous wine), this was the tighter of the two wines, but I am confident that magic will appear in a few years. Do not hesitate. Excellent to Excellent+. $55 list.
Domaine Comte Abbatucci Cuvee Faustine Blanc 2012: One of the new hot producers of the obscure island of Corsica, Comte Abbatucci has received glowing reviews from david Schildknecht of the Wine Advocate and are imported into the U.S. by the famous Kermit Lynch (usually a stamp of quality). This more entry level cuvee of indigenous white grapes was very impressive, and was a unique, terroir driven wine. Abbatucci saved and revived many of Corsican’s native vines that were near extinction. This is an impressive winery. Excellent. $45.
Jean Bourdy Cotes du Jura Blanc 2008: Textbook Jura blanc made in the traditional style with Savagnin and Chardonnay. Oxidative style, but impeccable and clean, this is delicious wine that is superb value. Excellent. $30 list.
Jean-Marc Burgaut Morgon Cote du Py 2011: Top-level Morgon for almost half the price of its leading competitors Lapierre and Foillard. This is beautiful wine, with considerable fruit and a complete mouthfeel and balance to boot. This was my top value wine of the tasting. Very Good+ and Highly Recommended Value. $26 list.
Sebastien Bobinet Amateus Bobi Saumur Champigny 2011: Excellent Cabernet Franc. It’s not cheap, but this is very high quality juice. Very Good+ to Excellent. $40.50 list.
Jean Bourdy Cotes du Jura Rouge 2008: Textbook traditional Jura rouge. Many will prefer this to the blanc because it does not show the white’s oxidative sherry-like qualities. It is a dry red, with good fruit but erring on the savory side. A wine to drink mid-week with a wide variety of medium-intensity foods. This wine can age decades. Excellent. $30 list.
Domaine Comte Abbatucci Cuvee Faustine Rouge 2011: Another excellent terroir driven wine from this top Corsican producer. Red berries, herbs, underbrush, but fresh and clean. Very Good+ to Excellent. $45 list.