Happy New Year, friends! In what I hope will be an ongoing series, I offer up thoughts and recommendations for excellent, nicely priced bottles still seen on retail shelves.
2007 Domaine des Trois Toits Muscadet Sèvre et Maine (H. Rosseau)
I just love really good Muscadet…you know, the ones that are enticing mineral candy for the mind, put a smile on your face and give a lift to the oysters on your plate. Oh yes, cheap, too! The sad part is that I rarely if ever find these qualities on bottles not emblazoned with Pepiere or Luneau-Papin. Optimist that I am, I have worked my way through a vast array of the typically unsatisfying alternatives, so you’ll imagine my surprise when I pulled forth a real gem on an Ohio shelf. Colonial Bob did well when he decided to stock the 2007 Domaine Des Trois Toits from Hubert Rousseau…very nicely priced around $12 (imported by Rosenthal).
When poured cold from the refrigerator it was straight forward green apple and rock — simple, but intense. Thirty minutes toward room temperature offer richer, more appealing results.It was a fragrant wine with wisps of honeysuckle weaving their way through more typical seashell and briny rock. Lemon and green apple flavors seemed to add a tart resonance to a fairly rich beginning. The wine had excellent length, and mineral persistence. I am sure I’ll love this with the mussels in saffron broth that now occupy my mind. Find this wine
2007 Domaine du Vissoux Cuvee Traditionelle (Chermette)
I know that I frequently reference this bottling as a yearly source of comfort and joy, but I can now anoint the 2007 model as the best of the decade. In the past six months I’ve reveled in this on numerous occasions — always a delight. The wine continues to possess a unique combination of fruit intensity (I frequently interpret it as black raspberry), along with a breath taking lightness of being. It is both powerful, yet delicate. It is engaging, but fun. This is great stuff, and less $20 when you find it. Find this wine
2006 Produtorri di Barbaresco Nebbiolo Langhe
Where’s the fruit? It was odd that I did not notice any such absence. This was fine edged, leathery Nebbiolo from Langhe, and I would have been disappointed to find anything remotely globular…still, understated cherry was easily discerned. Its bouquet was full of floral notes, along with mineral, cedar and spice. The same nose tickling spice engaged in the finish, and left a warmth that made me consider good quality chipotle. It was tannic, but accessible all the while. Its sum was far greater than its parts, as it was quite engaging and seeming very complete. Nebbiolo from Piedmont is never inexpensive, but in the neighborhood of $20, this really delivers a good bit of essence. Find this wine