Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chambers Steet Artisanal wine tasting... (more notes)

I wanted to talk a little more about the tasting I went to at Chamber's Street earlier in the month where they hosted the “8th Annual real Wine Assault (Part 1)” which pulled together over 40 wines from over 10 producers, most of whom where there to talk about and pour their own creations.

I love events like this for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a venue to discover new wines but second and most importantly, I usually find out about wines that I would have never found about otherwise.

For one thing, the “vignerons” at this event, all French, are all small artisanal producers. These wines are not readily found in the marketplace. Another point, and this is a big one I have to work on, is that I’m not in the habit of buying random wines from growing regions that I don’t already know.

This is a BIG part of my wine education that I really have to work on. If the wines tasted are any indication, I have a lot to work on. The majority of these wines were really tasty and they came from French regions that I know relatively little about.

Three wines stood out to me.

- ’07 Terres Dorees Fleurie from Jean-Paul Brun – The lesson from this one is that I really need to explore more Cru Beaujolais.

- ’05 Coteaux du Loir “L’Effraie” from Domaine Belliviere – Lesson from this is that the Loire region is definitely an area I need to explore more. This was an excellent wine that I went back for.

- ’06 Chinon Blanc “La Croix Boissee” from Domaine Bernard Baudry – This wine was so good with fantastic minerality and structure, that it rivaled some of the best white wines I’ve ever had. While not cheap at approximately $40, the lesson here is that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get world class quality from Loire whites.

All that said, school was in session for me that day.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Artisanal French Wines at Chamber's St.

Chamber Street Wines in Tribeca has some pretty good afternoon tastings. They don’t happen all the time but when they do, it’s more often than not worth the trip in from Brooklyn on a Saturday afternoon.

Such was the case on April 11th when they tested a selection of French artisanal /natural wines from Louis/Dressner Selections. The wines came mainly from the Loire and Beaujolais and in all the 10 growers who were the states poured a total of 45+ wines. Note that some estates where represented without their owners present.

They were for the most part very good with some being fantastic. The disclaimer I have to make up front is that I am not as familiar with Loire or Beaujolais as I would like to be. On one hand I don’t have as much of a base of knowledge to compare these wines to. On the other, it was a great educational experience.

I’m terrible at taking notes in situations like this so listed below are the Domaines and Chateau that were represented. Below that are the individual wines that stood out to me above the rest. These three bottles are the ones brought home from the tasting.

The Domaine/Chateau/Clos
Domaine de la Pѐpiere
Domaine du Closel
Domaine Pinon
Domaine Belliviѐre
Domaine Bernard Baudry
Domaine des Terres Dorѐes
Clos de la Roilette
Chateau Moulin Pey-Labrie
De Moor
Clos Tue-Boeuf
Clos Roche Blanche
Domaine de Roally
Domaine Girard
Chateau D’Oupia

The Stand-Out Wines
Domaine Belliviѐre – 2005 Coteaux du Loir “L’Effraie”
Domaine Bernard Baudry – 2006 Chinon Blanc “La Criox Boissѐe”
Domaine des Terres Dorѐes – 2007 Terres Dorѐes Fleurie