The wine world today seems so fascinated with big, rich, opulent, lavish wines. Isn’t there room for elegant, highly refined, more finesse oriented wines? Just to make sure our regulars remember that finesse & nuance is okay…we have put together a quartet of worldly red wines from 4 true winemaking Masters (at least from my point of view). Each of these wines are excellent….interesting….absolutely delicious….& so food friendly. REALLY cool wines!!!!!!!!….& certainly one of the most interesting tastings we have put together in some time, that’s for sure. Just another opportunity to learn.
2012 Domaine Chignard Julienas “Beauvernay”–This is Cru Beaujolais from one of the region’s winemaking masters. We have adored the Michel Chignard Fleurie for many years as it always delivers…a truly captivating charm, personality & delicious-ness. A few years back, Michel turned the domaine over to his son Cedric. Thankfully the domaine & its wines haven’t skipped a beat. We were intrigued that Cedric has now added a 60 year old vine parcel of Julienas to his portfolio. It is yet another wonderfully delicious, charming, terrific glass of pretty, captivating Cru Beaujolais. Kudos to the Chignards!
2009 Jermann “Red Angel on the Moonlight”
There is no doubt that Silvio Jermann is one of Italy’s true iconic white producers, who has changed the game, starting in the 1980’s. His famous Chardonnay based white wine, named “Where Dreams Come from…..” was, at one time, the single most sought after/coveted contemporary white wine out of Friuli & certainly one of the most acclaimed by the American wine media, along side Jermann’s other white wine star, “Vintage Tunina”. Over the years, I had heard & tasted now & then their efforts at producing equally acclaimed & sought after RED wines. Here is one of their latest…..Pinot Noir. There is no doubt Jermann has come a long way on this frontier, & his 92 point rating from the Wine Advocate, endorsed the fact his time has arrived.
2008 Fürst Spätburgunder “Klingenberger”
There really is so much to say about superstar German winemaker Paul Fürst & his wines. I first fell in love with his brilliant white wines, as they were all about “chrystaline” purity, precision, remarkable lightness & filagree. Then, taking advantage of the increasing frequency of warm vintages, which some people say is attributed to Global Warming, Paul really began to zero in on his true love–Pinot Noir. Currently Paul grows & produces Pinot Noir under at least 5 different labelings–“Tradition” (for his entry level Pinots); Bürgstadter Centgrafenberg; Bürgstadter Hundsrück AND 2 from his Klingenberger Schlossberg parcel (Klingenberger for his “Village level Pinot) & Klingenberger Schlossberg (for what he thinks is Grand Cru in quality). As Eric Asimov of the New York Times succinctly wrote–“while all the Pinot Noirs of Paul Fürst are subtle, the Klingenberger is the quietest, the most understated and elegant. This is a needle-fine Pinot, a wine of simply extraordinary textural elegance; it’s sappy and sweet-fruited with smoke and iron-inflected notes of soil and mineral“.
1996 Francois Jobard Blagny “La Piece sous le bois”
I had quite a lengthy conversation with a winemaker friend the other night about the hotshot white Burgundy producers of today. Like most of today’s wine aficionados I run across, the Meursaults of Francois Jobard was not on his list. Another friend who was tasting with us, then poured our friend a glass of 1995 Jobard Meursault Premier Cru “Poruzots”, which had been opened maybe an hour before. The wine was amazing!!!!! The conversation were back to the more acclaimed, more modern “IN” winemakers. After tasting several other wines I then went in the back & opened up a 1997 Jobard Meursault Premier Cru “Genevrieres”, which was still tight, closed down & a somewhat bitter “phenolic” (as he noted) finish. One hour later….OMG!!!!! Glorious. Over the years, though, I never really gave the Jobard red wine too much thought or attention. I am sad, because Francois & his heir apparent son, Antoine, have replaced the Pinot vines with more Chardonnay. AND, after tasting this REALLY pretty, juicy, bright eyed Cotes de Beaune with the humus, Burgundian funk & its more tamed acidity because of the bottle age, I am greatly saddened. It really is the end of an era.