What’s open now

Summer colds are the worst. Something was going around and I got it, starting last week, right when the wine symposium was going on. And, as anyone in the restaurant business knows, being sick is not an option. So, some long hours and being sick kept me away from the computer last week. And I’m feeling better. Well enough to open

Bourillon Dorleans 2006 Vouvray Sec ‘La Coulée d’Argent

Talk about bone-crushing acidity. I found this wine to be so acidic that it felt like my tooth enamel was being eaten away.

Maybe I have sensitive teeth, but even the next day, I was still feeling it. This does not mean this is not a well-made bottle of wine. And of course, chenin blanc, especially from the Vouvray region of the Loire, is known for its acidity.

According to the estate’s website, this wine has seven grams per liter of residual sugar, spent six months on the lies and spent time in stainless steel tanks as well as barrique.

(Like most of the French wine websites, Bourillon Dorleans’s involves to much music, does not provide direct links to the information on a particular wine and puts the information in a format that can’t be copied. It’s fancy, but annoying.)

A little info on Vouvray from the Oxford Companion to Wine:

the most important individual white wine appellation in the Touraine district of the Loire. The wines of Vouvray vary enormously in quality, thereby offering a true representation of the grape variety from which Vouvray is exclusively made. Vouvray is chenin blanc and, to a certain extent, Chenin Blanc is Vouvray (although arbois grapes are theoretically allowed into Vouvray too). No other wine made only from this long-lived middle Loire grape, often called Pineau de la Loire, is made in such quantity, from more than 2,000 ha/5,000 acres of vineyard. (The proportion of sparkling wine produced increased during the 1990s.)

And on the wine:

The style of wine made by the best producers such as Huet, Champalou, Domaine des Aubuisières, Clos Naudin, and Domaine de la Taille aux Loups is determined completely by the weather. In the least generous vintages, only dry and possibly sparkling wines are made. The best years yield very sweet, golden nectars that are naturally moelleux, or even liquoreux, but are so high in acidity that most are almost unpleasant to drink in their middle age between about three years old and two to three decades. Some of the finest Vouvrays can still taste lively, and richly fruity, at nearly a century. A relatively high proportion of demi-sec (medium dry) is also produced in many years, and it too has demanded a considerable amount of bottle ageing before the acidity has muted and the wine can be served as a fine accompaniment to many savoury, richly sauced dishes. Better vineyard management, however, is resulting Vouvrays of all sweetness levels that are more broachable in youth.

The wine is a pale pale gold color with tints of green. The nose is fresh and clean, but rich, with a nuttiness that overlays an almost tropical/star fruit aroma. The nuttiness leads to the conclusion that the wine is developing rather than young.

In the diploma classes Vouvray and chenin blanc is referred to as having a wet wool or lanolin smell. Does this? It’s almost waxy and earthy, but I don’t get an animal component.

On the palate the acid is apparent first and last, and completely masks any evidence of residual sugar. But it’s earthy and citrusy and appley at the same time. The length of the fruit on the palate pretty much keeps up with the acid.

2006 was a tough vintage in the Loire, as there was a lot of rain in August (kind of like Long Island this year) and it was tough getting ripe fruit.

This is good quality wine, but it hurts my teeth.


1 Comment

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One response to “What’s open now

  1. Cliff Batuello

    You’re right, it is kind of personal. I’m an acid freak when it comes to white wine. I love the bite and prickly sting it brings to the tongue. Good reason for RS, no? Wet wool and lanolin? The latter makes a little sense but the former I associate with underripeness. Even the greatest of Vouvrays, Huet, would never have that quality. And boy, his acid levels are so high that he releases late and his wines last 40, 50 years. For me, a great Vouvray is a walk through an apple orchard. In ripe years it may jump out of the glass, in the others the nose would be reticent but probably, ultimately, offer more secondaries.

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