Selections for April 2017

You’ve never had this.

2015 CHATEAU LOUSTALET – Buzet, Somewhere in France

Nope:  You have never had a Buzet.  If YOURS TRULY hadn’t experienced it until last January’s brief visit to this unknown region, then you certainly wouldn’t have either.  It would not be possible, fathomable, or acceptable to this intrepid wine traveller.  I’d be humiliated to hear otherwise.    

(Well, I suppose it’s POSSIBLE, but not very probable!!)

As the map above describes, Buzet is southeast of Bordeaux.  I did in fact briefly visit the area on the way from Bordeaux to Gascony one day last January.  We visited one winery, tasted one wine, and that’s all it took:  I immediately spoke for this for your club. 

Buzet whites use the Bordeaux grapes varieties, and this one is representative with 65% Semillon, 25% Sauvignon Blanc, and 10% Muscadelle.  No oak barrels are involved here; after six months of aging in stainless steel tanks the flavors are captured via an early bottling:  No muss, no fuss. 

Here’s one of those whites that seem nearly innocuous at first sip, yet you realize how good it is after your glass is half-gone and find yourself craving more.  Uniquely copper/grey in hue, the scents are pleasant with pears and apples.  The soft and silky textures finish with a vague citrus peel bitterness – just enough to keep the palate engaged.  This wine’s modesty reminds me of the Loire Valley’s Muscadet wines, though with a less acidic effect.  Its best foodmate is certainly delicate fish and shellfish treatments and – if you’re as into them as I am – raw oysters!

I hope you’re appreciating this modest wine as I do – not just because it’s a new adventure but because its darn good juice to boot!           

Unusual and Delicious – Part II

2016 LIBRANDI ‘Critone’ – Val de Neto, Italy

Have you ever heard of unlikely bedfellows Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc getting together in the same wine?  There is very little precedent.  Having such individual attitudes of their own, why try to amplify by blending?  You’re more bound to negate than improve!

Well, it works beautifully in THIS 90% Chardonnay / 10% Sauvignon Blanc from Calabria, Italy.  We are visiting the “toe” of the boot for a white which several winebar visitors just outside this office are enjoying right now.  Eight months ago it was represented by grape clusters hanging on vines very near the seashore, some right at sea level.  A temperature-controlled fermentation and 4 months of stainless steel aging later, it was bottled and shipped to us:  Fresh, friendly, and vibrantly evocative of its briny source.

A pleasant combination of fresh herbs and stone fruit happens in the nose.  The mouth is lush, yet vibrant.  Here is yet another great seafood wine, with “oily” fish such as fresh sardines from the grill being the ideal.