This past Tuesday night myself and a couple like-minded, wine-loving guys got together at my favorite BYO place in town to open a few bottles with everyone’s favorite Italocentric wine blogger Mr. DoBianchi. We got the word that Dr. J would be coming to town and plans for a bit of libational shenanigans were put into motion. Can’t say the shenanigans part of the plan came to fruition (it was a school night after all), but some bottles were definitely laid to waste; some ended up being quite memorable.
First up was the NV Vouette et Sorbée Fidèle. Let me cut to the chase and say, holy shit, this was awesome. I had never had anything from Vouette et Sorbée before, but I truly hope that this won’t be the last. It was full of life. It was full of body. It was full of flavor. It was soul destroying. I’m still thinking about it. I think I’m addicted, like a junkie. I want to sell all my things and buy more. Shit, I want to steal your things and get all I can. And this was just their base cuvée; a blanc de noir from 100% pinot noir. They also have a blanc de blancs and a rosé. My mind races at the thought of how good those must be.
If I were to write anything other than what I thought about the wine, I would just be watering down the information I gleaned from the awesome, detailed write up that Peter Liem did for Saignée’s blog a year and a half ago. Incredible first hand info on Bertrand Gautherot and Vouette et Sorbée. Needless to say the Fidèle knocked my socks off. It’s definitely not a shrinking violet type; fine bead, full mouth, earthy, yeasty nose, and dry. Shit, I’m just reaching for bullshit descriptors. This and the next wine were beyond words. The only thing that can come close is haunting.
I opened the 2000 Raveneau Chablis 1er Vaillons next after the Fidèle. Just a little pour to see if it was corked. I was a little suspect of the bottle. I think it had come via the grey market (as it had no importer sticker on the back and it also seemed like there could’ve been some seepage up top. I meant to open it at home and check it beforehand, but forgot. I wish’d I would have because it wasn’t corked or oxidized in the least, but it was young; it took almost an hour to open up. At first it really wasn’t much of anything; rain water was what I thought. Though, with the last sip I could tell that there was something hiding back behind those rain drops.
To tide us over until the Raveneau blossomed, we opened another gloriously gorgeous bottle of Costadilà Prosecco brought by Mr. Nathan. Man, that wine is simply a good time waiting to happen. All lightly lemony and utterly fresh, this could get any old Eeyore to crack a smile. With a tinge a sea spray and pithy bitterness it’s just as nice as can be. A great accompaniment to the variety of fried Cuban appetizers we had before us. I still think it’s best a bit shaken up to disturb the lees that have settled to the bottom.
While still waiting for the Raveneau, but after the Costadilà, Nathan opened up a bottle of 2007 Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett. Now, I’m a bit of a heathen when it comes to Riesling, well maybe heathen isn’t the right word, um, noob, might be the correct term. Whichever word you use, I just haven’t been bitten by the Riesling bug yet. But, this was really quite nice. The nose on this was the best part for me, the aromas just filled your brain with glycerin, citrus and chalk. Though what was definitely memorable was the way it just floated in your mouth. It was so feather-like compared to what you’d think it would be like by the nose. Float like a bee, sting like a butterfly.
At this point I went back to the Raveneau only to find it absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, not showing any of it’s ten years of age and in no way over-the-hill. Lithe and steel-y and brimming with crushed sea-shells it was eye-opening. It was my first Raveneau and the first ‘aged’ Chablis that I felt benefited from that time. Along with the Vouette, it was a one-two punch that I haven’t stopped thinking about.
The last bottle we had was also top notch (and no less worthy of attention than the others). The 1998 Illuminati Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Zanna that Phil brought was pure bottled sunshine with deep, earthy, dark fruit notes; but not heavy in anyway, just comfortable in it’s own skin I’d say. Again, this was the oldest bottle of Montepulciano I have ever had, but it was showing no signs of aging. DoBianchi has just written up a nice blog entry about the wine which goes into a little more detail than I can. It wasn’t one of those bottles that shatters your world (well, at least mine). It wasn’t one that made you sit and contemplate your existence in the world. But, what it was was the prefect bottle of wine to share with some great dudes who I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know over the course of the last year. Thanks for a great evening, gents.