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One from Cahors, Two from the Loire

November 24, 2008

Zette Malbec 2003, Cahors, France ~$10US: Shiraz-like stewed plums and blackberries on the nose. Along with the big dark fruits, there was a strange wet-dog-with-bananas on the mid-palate. Medium-full bodied with some milk chocolate on the finish. Not unenjoyable, but it felt a little over-manipulated in terms of extraction and oak. A bit hot with bitey tannins. For better or worse, it staddles the line between traditional Cahors and the new world transplants. I’ll pass on another bottle and maybe go to Argentina next time.

Baumard , Clos du Papillon, 2002, Savennières, France ~$28US: Chenin Blanc. I love this wine. Layer and layers of tropical fruits; mangoes and pineapples, almonds, lime, chalk, honey, and flowers. Fantastically complex and mercurial on the palate, with powerful grip and a long mineral finish. Dry, with no suggestion of sweetness but perfect fruit ripeness. Paired will with porcini fettucini. Just singing right nowWell worth the price and the time to seek out.

Catherine & Pierre Breton, Trinch!, 2005, Bourgueil, France ~$15US: Cabernet Franc. Trinch! was bringing some serious barnyard on popping. I moved it into the decanter and with some breathing, the funk blew off to reveal a dense and soulful wine. A bit rustic, but smoothing out over time. Red cherries, Tabasco, bell peppers on the palate and an intriguing minerality on the finish. Well-balanced acids and tanning – drinking well now and probably for another 5-7 years. Clearly old-school – I enjoyed this more and more and it revealed more minerality and tobacco. Perfect with Dijon-crusted spatchcock chicken.

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