I was hoping to choose & taste an appropiate wine before leaving
for Argentina & subsequently compare at what price I could find the same bottle or an analogue in Buenos Aires after I arrived...but I've postponed travel yet again, & I'll still be running errands & preparing to pack on Wednesday the 14th-- so I shopped around the websites of Plaza Cellars, to find:
--Joseph Drouhin Macon Villages 2005 $16.38
--Georges Duboeuf Pouilly Fuissé 2006 $21.97
--Louis Latour Pouilly Fuissé 2005 $26.32
...& La Bodega de Méndez had these listings--
--Albert Bichot Pouilly Fuissé 2000 $22.78
--Albert Bichot Pouilly Fuissé 2002 $26.49
--Albert Bichot Saint Véran 2002 $13.49
In the end, I wound up strolling to V. Suárez's retail outlet, El Hórreo, mentioned in an earlier posting, after my friend Christophe Gourdain-- also mentioned earlier-- assured me their extensive catalog was my best bet, with a choice of Mâcon-Lugny, Mercurey & possibly Rully bottlings. Their website has very flashy Flash animation screens, but unfortunately no detailed updates on their mammoth account holdings.
Racks upon racks of Jadot-labeled bottles yielded no Mâcon-Lugny-- out of it, or part of a smaller négociant's closed-out & relinquished catalog. (No trace of Rully, either)
Chalk it up to indecisiveness, recklessness or thirst for knowledge-- finally, as in last month's Wine Blogging Wednesday participation, I ended up with a trinity of bottles:
--Château de Chamirey Mercurey Rouge 1998 $26.50
--Château de Chamirey Mercurey Blanc 1997 $20.75
--Louis Jadot St. Véran Chapelle aux Loups 1998 $17.75
All three have improved since opening, last Saturday the 10th for the red, Sunday 11th for the whites: the red Mercurey went from tart cherry acidity up front & a flash of spicy aftertaste with a light midpalate to a more balanced Bourgogne, if somewhat tame & simple for the price one must inevitably pay on this 100 x 35-square-mile island.
The whites certainly seem to have more depth: the 'Chapelle aux Loups' ('Wolves' Chapel'!) went from bright, acidic lime to still citric, but unctuous Meyer lemon preserve, with some underlying notes of cashew nut, rather than the hazlenut that is supposed to be more typical of this vineyard's product. The white Mercurey has blossomed into an amazing tightrope act of earth & oxidative notes, giving it a caramelized orange rind & apple throughline that matches a light, lingering citrus blossom nose-- with some mushroom underpinning that balances the midpalate at a near-impossible point between astringent & unctuous. I rave about this wine partly because it's a delicious payoff after taking many, many chances on older white vintages that are borderline oxidated--
a 2002 Argiolas 'Isola dei Nuraghi' white from Sardinia, for example, with an unspecified percentage of Malvasia blended in with the usual Vermentino, had a honeyed color with salmon glints; & while the nose was flat if dimly nutty, the palate was nicely poised on the edge of sherry-like character.
A more subtle & expensive example was a bottle of Jadot's Meursault-Genevrières from '98 I shared with Christophe at his restaurant, where he dismissed my fretting out loud whether I'd wasted my sixty-seven dollars after getting mostly olives & bay leaf in the nose & tight citrus with a subtle nutty undertone in the mouth. 'It's fine', he curtly declared.
I have a curmudgeonly, whiny streak & when Brooklynguy presented the theme for this month's blogging 'group taste' I wondered if I'd end up filling space by complaining about the hollow spaces & high prices of the wine market on this cultural crossroads of an island-- yet again.
I've still got a good, generous glass of each of both white wines waiting for this evening & a possible evaluation epilogue of their final evolution waiting in my blogosphere's literary wings. Not only that, I'm very tempted to risk the inevitable bottle variation to buy another helping of each-- so I have to humbly thank our host for the incentive nudge to pursue the 'Silver Burgundy' scheme of possibilities & a great experience!
Postscript, Wed.14, 11:53 AST:
(now that Eastern time is back on Standard, I get an hour's grace period for midnight deadlines!)
On their last legs, each wine flattened & died a most characterful death: the Saint-Véran's slightly-cooked Meyer lemon compote showing some salty highlights, as of oyster liquor. The Mercurey, darkening into Scotch-like malt!