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Weekend Wrap: Bourgueil, Brda, and Beer

April 13, 2009

Movia Rebula, Brda 2004: Strange. Poured a cloudy golden into the  decanter. Quick taste at first made me realize that it needed some time to wake up. At 30 minutes, it started giving up the strangest ‘French Hooker Perfume‘ (I can only guess here) aromas – cloying herbal, floral (violets) and balsam scents that overpowered my palate with a strange bitterness. Almost undrinkable. Then an hour later, it was just singing, better integrated, no FHP thank goodness. This is wine that makes you feel alive. It was alive. The acidic bite here really worked with foods, and there was a seductive maturity to the finish – long and graceful. Once again, Ales the wizard makes something totally unique and iconoclastic. 

Catherine et Pierre Breton Bourgueil Trinch! 2007: Crazy dense magenta in color. Anyone and their mom could pick up on the beautiful bell pepper and wet leaves on the nose here. So much purity and freshness at work here. Totally a pleasure, but not too simple. I love the acidity here – it just explodes – it, and fruit (more like vegetables) are knit together with fine-grained tannins that are just seamless. The next day it mellowed a touch, and showed a little more earth, funk, and zip. I want a case for this spring and summer.

Bell’s HopSlam Ale: Hops are the new black. Or so it would seem in the craft brew aisle. I find a lot to like in the hop monsters from Three Floyds and friends, and was recommended this by a good friend. I can’t say it lived up the the name “HopSlam” in terms of aggressive hopi-ness, but this was a very well-balanced and deft brew.

Rich golden color with a perfect fine head. Obvious tangerine and orange zest on the nose and palate entry, with white flower secondary flavors. It transitions smoothly to a toasted caramel but never syrupy midpalate, through a freshly bitter and resiliant finish, with the hops coming back to close the deal. The overall flow from light and citrusy through a weightier midpalate and finishing light again is a  feat. There is a real elegance to the double-ale, despite it weighing in at 10%ABV. Well done Bell’s.

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