St. Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, Vieilles Vignes, Joël Taluau, 2003

It was a very busy week and the next is sure to be busier. I was happy to arrive home for a relaxing Friday night with a kitchen full of the bounty from this week’s farmer’s market. Dinner tonight was to start with some Insalata Caprese made with some local heirloom tomatoes absolutely bursting with flavor followed by a grilled Carlton Farms pork chop sented with fresh thyme from my garden and corn-on-the-cob so sweet that it may have been better suited to dessert.

From the cellar came a bottle of St. Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, Vieilles Vignes, Joël Taluau, 2003 and just as I pulled the cork and served the caprese Bill Maher came on HBO.  This lovely cabernet franc washed down both the meal and the political commentary beautifully. An hour later, at the end of the show and the meal, I noticed that the bottle was three quarters gone while I was not. Yet another of the pleasures of drinking wine with moderate alcohol, in this case 12.5%.

This is an easy, seductively charming wine with concentrated mouthwatering fruit. There is complexity here, but that’s not the main attraction, which is the zesty purity of the fruit. Produced from vines closing in on their 75th birthday, these old vines speak eloquently for themselves without requiring artificial amplification from oak or other manipulations that would only distract.

By the way, this wine cost less than $14. What did you drink with dinner tonight and what did it cost? If you’d tasted this wine you’d feel a bit ripped off. Me, I’m very happy.