1985 López de Heredia Viña Tondonia - a gorgeous nose of strawberry and underbrush immediately grabbed my attention. I had in my glass that magical thing, a wine you want to coddle and sniff for a long while before even sipping it. Such glorious aromatics. At last, though, I struck out to discover if it was going to be an interesting sip, to boot. Zounds. On the palate, it was even better than what its heady scents promised. Such death-defying complexity! Waves of silky, elegant fruit and earthiness, with a sudden twist of sap and bark right in the middle, and then playing out forever, until I was wide-eyed and shaking my head. Wow.
Touraine Gamay “Pouillé,” Thierry Puzelat 2006 $18. 13% alcohol. Cork. Louis/Dressner, New York, NY. Relative to “Le Tel Quel,” which I’ve written about here before, “Pouillé” is arguably Thierry Puzelat’s more serious – perhaps substantial would be a better word – expression of Gamay. In this case, the fruit comes from Puzelat’s own vineyards, which he purchased from Michel Oger. Situated near Clos Roche Blanche in the commune of Pouillé, the 65 year-old selection massale Gamay vines are planted in argilo-silex (clay and flint) soil that’s been farmed biodynamically for the past fifteen years. Following fermentation, the wine is aged in old oak casks until bottling, without filtration, in the summer following the harvest.
Arbois Poulsard “M,” Jacques Puffeney 2005 $30. 13.5% alcohol. Cork. Rosenthal Wine Merchant, New York, NY. Puffeney’s wines may be a little pricey for a typical midweek repast, but I’ve been on vacation the last couple of days so I figured why not give myself a treat. Straight from the bottle, this is lean and firm in both acidic and tannic impact. Its color is a completely transparent, pale ruby, tinged green/orange at the rim. With a few moments to settle, aromas emerged of red tea, rose petals, teak and tart cherry fruit. Like its color, the wine’s flavors are delicate but intensely penetrating. If you’ve been looking for a “light” wine to serve with hearty fare – think duck, beef daube or, why not, pot pies – this may be your ticket.