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WTN: Catching Up

David McDuff

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Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie “Le L d’Or de Pierre Luneau, Cuvée Médaillée,” Domaine de la Grange (Pierre Luneau-Papin) 1995. $25. 12% alcohol. Cork. Importer: Louis/Dressner, New York, NY.

This was fantastically fresh. Drinking it gave me the sense of cool rain water leaching through the limestone and schist soils in Le Landreau. Marrowy and broad, intensely mineral, slightly saline and hinting at its age only via its dark aromatic profile, it was naturally stellar with oysters.

Vouvray “Clos Baudoin,” SARL Vallée de Nouy (Poniatowski/Chidaine) 2004. Around $20 on release. 13% alcohol. Cork. Importer: Petit Pois, Moorestown, NJ.

Produced during the period when Chidaine was farming and making the wines at Prince Philippe Poniatowski’s estate. (The “Clos Baudoin” now belongs to Chidaine). Fully sec in style and medium golden in color, its richer flavors were not as automatic a pairing with the oysters, but the match created some finishing flavor combinations that were really magnifying and haunting. And its pear nectar and sunshine-laced fruit worked handsomely with sweet, juicy mussels picked straight from the fire.

Palette, Château Simone 2006. $70. 12.5% alcohol. Cork. Importer: Neal Rosenthal, New York, NY.

My first experience with wine of any color from this tiny AOC located just southeast of Aix-en-Provence. I’d never thought Provençal white wine could be this good – sweetly herbal, dry but generous in its texture and braced by clean, refreshing acidity and apple tinged fruit. Poured alongside a Vietnamese preparation of pan seared scallops and a slaw of napa cabbage and mirin-spiked shiitakes, the wine did far more than stand its own. Its price, though, forces the wine even further into the realm of curiosity than does its obscure AOC.

Alsace Grand Cru Wiebelsberg Riesling “La Dame (Partager Avec Toi),” Domaine Marc Kreydenweiss 2004. $20. 13% alcohol. Cork. Importer: Wilson-Daniels, Saint Helena, CA.

This was the only dim bulb in a lineup of otherwise luminescent whites. The wine was perfectly sound and palatable but more or less bereft of any liveliness or depth, not living up to its Grand Cru status or to my hopes based on a positive write-up of the Domaine in Monty Waldin’s Biodynamic Wines (Classic Wine Library). I suppose there’s a reason why it was on closeout at the PLCB for $20….

Meursault “Clos des Mouches,” Domaine Henri Germain 2002. $46. 13.5% alcohol. Cork. Importer: Petit Pois, Moorestown, NJ.

Not to be confused with Beaune “Clos des Mouches,” the Clos des Mouches in Meursault is a monopole vineyard owned, farmed and planted to Pinot Noir by Domaine Henri Germain. This took the honors for red of the night (yes, there were others), at least in my book. Its nose of macerated cherries and white truffles was followed up by silky, lithe red fruit, with flavors of buttery lucques olives, vanilla-laced cherries and sweet English thyme all dancing across the palate. Firm of texture and fresh in acidity but delicate, delicate, delicate, through and through. Really lovely red Burg.

Photos, introductory info and shorter notes on a few of the other wines tasted on TG can be found at: Food, Wine and Friends at the Thanksgiving Table.

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