Tag Archives: gamay

Morgon meets whatever

25 Jun


Oh. Mmm. Gee. OMG. We have conquered–more than “covered” we’ve conquered! By which I mean we guzzled our ways through, in reverse order:

Chiroubles

Fleurie

Moulin-A-Vent

Chénas

Juliénas

And!

Saint-Amour

Oh shit okay just go with me on the following pertaining to the following. And trust me because I use words like pertaining even when sipping alcoholic bevs.

The Transformers show song?

It was “more than meets the eye”. Those were the lyrics. But as a kid I thought it was “Morgan meats the eye”, which I imagined meant a guy named Morgan or Morgon was in the kitchen making a nice meatloaf of eye.

I was wrong. And Morgon wine tastes eons better than I’d imagine meat-y eyeloaf does, even if made by Morgon himself.

Morgon has no plans of “meat-ing” anything. But it has some damn fine vino.

Hell this wine:

2013 Chateau Grange Cochard Morgon Cote du Py.

Holy hell the cherry, the violets the…Violets. Again. Like Chiroubles. But also. The blueberries and maybe honey? 

It is certainly more than meets both the eye AND the nose. Take that, Transformers.

Oof

Okay WSET standards:

Eye: clear, medium ruby, medium slow tears but remember it is more!

Nose: clean, medium plus intensity, cherries, grass, strawberries and blackberries and some citrus (barely but once I call it out you’ll say fuck yah) whiffs. On the nose the hey fresh!-ness hits ya.

Tongue: dry, medium acid, medium minus tannins, medium alcohol–guessing 13% (just checked it whilst editing it is 13% which is medium whaddaya know the WSET’s taught me well). Body is medium. Flavor intensity is medium but…almost medium plus pending what temp you get served.

Taste, specifically is ALL the black cherries and blackberries and some dang grass and a hint or three of bloody raw green pepper but in a way I liked!

And those beautiful candied violets. Go find some violet pastilles. You’ll see. Violets and anise in perfect balance.

Definitely more than meats anything.

Especially if like me you don’t eat meat. Have some more wine instead.

Gimme some fleurs 

11 Jun


Real quick: this week we had actress Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures, anyone?) on the podcast. And get into how to talk about cat pee notes in New Zealand wine so…listen to it here!

And now.

Fleuries! Oh yes my dahhhhhlings having gotten through Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, AND those devilish windmills aka Moulin-A-Vent we are  moving on to our darling flowers: Fleurie.

2014 Chateau de Grand Pre Fleurie

The gorgeous thing about French wines is they SOUND like they taste.

Moulins tilt. Saint-Amour is complex as true love. Brouilly brews up trouble and Chénas? Well it chains you to Beaujolais😁. 

Fleurie stays true to its name in that it tends to be more aromatic of flowers like violets. And it can be light and delicate like a lovely rose blossom. Makes you wonder what influences what more–the name or the wine?

I am doing this series probably more for my own education than anyone else’s. 

Ugh okay for all the following add “plus flowers and a whiff bubble gum” to the description and you’ll get the more typical Fleurie I like. Not as flowery and jammy as Beaujolais noveau but Fleurie does have some of those delightful things from time to time. Because carbonic maceration.

This Fleurie appeals to hipsters who like raw and natural. Let’s get WSET-y:

Look: medium and muddy grape-purple colored and the tears are slow but medium.

Nose: Oh funk a hit of oils! But otherwise raw green pepper and cherries and mulberries. Hint of allspice.

On yer tongue: Dry as f and acid as almost f and alcohol also medium (oh let me check label says 13% abv yup medium) tannins medium minus, body medium minus (for red), intensity of flavor is perhaps medium maybe even medium plus.

I’d like some more Fleuries and I’d take some flowers too. But if forced to decide between I’d likely take the wine first. Just sayin’.

Cheers darlings. Pick a flower for me. 

Chénas? CheNOT. Harharhar

22 May


Oh hey this is the wine that held me up from being ready to write my whole Beaujolais series. I could not friggin’ find a Chénas. Until finally Garagiste came through. With:

2015 Pascal Aufranc “En Remont Vignes de 1939”


Please excuse the hasty nature of that pic. Been busy making this podcast n such.

Honestly maybe there is a reason this cru is not around much, because this is possibly my least favorite Beaujolais cru thus far–I’ve  tasted St-Amour, Julienas, Moulin-vent, Fleurie, Morgon, Regnié and Brouilly so far, so I have a tad bit of experience.

Okay. So this Chènas is good but a bit green for me. Okay? So Garagiste says to drink 2018-2024. Okay okay! So maybe I drank it 6 months early and if I’d waited the green would have…evolved…so okay…just okay. 

On the good side! This wine is:

A delicious smell that you can’t quite place. Maybe it smells like blueberry pie. But not in a way that makes you hungry. It smells like lavender and pine trees too but jussssst enough to relax you. And then that is not actually quite the wine’s smell just the essence. 

It is a wine you suck down to chill out on a night in. A quiet time before the next day when you fly off the next job, wine, book, audition, destination whichever…

Or so I surmise. Until I can fly to 2018 and beyond and sip this wine I cannot say where it will go.

I love Gamay enough I’ll give Chénas more tries. Until the I am going to be continuing my trek (virtually) through the crus. Onward!

I Feel Amour. The Cycle begins!

15 May


I’ve been saying it for some time. That I was going to do a cycle going through all the lovely Beaujolais crus. Those are: Saint-Amour, Julienas, Chenas, Moulin-à-Vènt, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié,  Côte de Brouilly, and Brouilly. I came up with a device to remember this: Saint Julian Called Many French Cheapo Madams Really Comely Broads.

And I’ve been feeling the…oh…feeling of spring so what better time to jump into Saint-Amour? The most northerly. We begin at zee beginning.

2015 Pascal Berthier “Esprit de Séduction” Saint-Amour

Beyond waiting for spring fever it took me fucking forever to find a Chenas and I wanted to have located all the crus before starting the dang cycle. But we are here now.

I am feeling love for this Saint-Amour, the most northern of the Beaujolais crus. Ah yes, the granite/clay/schist/limestone soils are on hillier regions than much of the Beaujolais area. Hills can be lovely for wine that wants warmth and sun. And Gamay, the Beaujolais grape, needs a whiff of both.

So far I love this wine and it is loving me back.

Blueberries, y’all. And more blueberries plus blackberries and friggin’ slate blackboard. Picture your childhood art teacher grabbing blue chalk and drawing blueberries and you lick the board and it actually tastes both like the board, the chalk, and the berries. Therrrrre you go. This is a classic gamay in its freshness, berry-ness, a hint of some sort of fortified wine so whaaaa—chamomile/herbs/quinine?—and just more love.

Love y’all back. Next week———–Julienas!

We are cycling together my people. Love you too. 

 

Let Us Stay: Beaujolais

13 Dec


Okay so I swear my ten-part series on cru Beaujolais is coming. I am in the midst of amassing a wine from each cru. St-Amour is hard to find, y’all. But I’m on it.

IN THE MEANTIME PINNNNNNNK! Pink as in Rosé.

From a winemaker who you may just see resurface in the ten-part series but HOLY HECK I love this producer:

2015 Pierre-Marie Chermette Vissoux “Les Griottes” Beaujolais Rosé

While generally I claim this as THE BEST I’d say on another note this may be at least one of the best. Shit, you guys. I have enough love in my heart for A LOT of rosés out there.

YAS Gamay rosé from the Chermette’s YAS.

I don’t know if the grammar was correct for Chermette’s. Are Pierre and Marie one or two people? Should I have said “Chermettes'”? These things matter.

But not as much as my tasting notes. Sweet babies.

Okay I lie I paused and did some research: Pierre-Marie and Martine Chermette were the upstarts of sustainable viticulture in Beaujolais. So Pierre-Marie is one person. This is a natural wine. Like it waits for the natural yeast to do it’s duty.

That yeast knew what was up!

This wine. Okay I’ll get to my tasting notes. At last:

Gorgeous salmon color. Peach melba on the nose. Dry. HIGH acid. Medium alcohol. Medium plus body as far as a rosé goes! There is some viscousity. More peach melba in the mouth. When I say peach melba I mean peaches plus acidic raspberries plus vanilla n cream. There is a hint of minerality but it is very smooth. Sanded stones. The finish LINGERS! ON! FURTHER THAN YOU’D EXPECT FOR A ROSÉ!

THIS IS THE MAGIC. FRENCH BEAUJOLAIS MAGIC.

This Gamay is my true love.

For now. I’m a fickle beast.

Meow.

 

Because funk noveau

6 Dec


Let’s shut our eyes, close our ears and sew our mouths shut and pretend Beaujolais Noveau were not such a THING because it leads to people overlook the rest of this righteous region. Then unstitch our lips, open eyes, and take the cotton out of our ear holes and take in Régnié.

This is Beaujolais CRU ma sweet babees.

From Regnié. 

I promise I’ll do a ten-part series on the 10 Beaujolais cru vineyards. They exist up north where the soil is granitic and the living is…well it involves a lot of time with the vines but then the living is party. From what I hear.

Let’s get down with this lovely specimen, purchased for a mere 25 from Domaine LA where the living is delicious.

2015 Julien Sunier Régnié Gamay

Lemme see, if I was at a bar and this wine was some cute lady who engaged me in convo because hey, we are two ladeees minding our own business (sorta) at a wine bar…well this is that lady:

Conventionally attractive, and decidedly feminine, wearing some almost arty but mostly Refinery 29-approved wardrobe, this woman drops some pop-culture references that make you want to dismiss her but then a random lesser known Joy Division song comes on and she knows it and still is perky on the surface but she has an open mind. She’s deeper than you gave her credit at first sip. I mean taste. I mean swallow I mean… 

She is green too. Like fresh. Not jaded. Fuck it this girl sorta gets me but like when I’m in a light-hearted mood.

Okay fine, but technically how is she? And her legs? Hahahahhaa. Bad joke I know moving on this WINE is medium ruby purply brew. 

On the nose it is rocks, cherries and dark grape Bubblicious NOT a joke I love that shit. 

On the tongue: dry as can be if grape Bubblicious could be unsweetened. Then comes cherries, raspberry cream soda maybe even…Dr. Pepper? Yes Dr. Pepper. And rocky darkness but barely. Just a hint of the dark side. 

The tannins are medium. They suck at your gums one moment then are like “hey kidding” we are silky fun! Slightly cedar-y fun. Christmas tree delight. 

The alcohol is decidedly not too high (just checked it is 12.5) so you are like hey there is a friendly bite to this! Just a nip of alcohol heat. 

Body I want to say is light from the effervescent nature of what I’m guessing is semi-carbonic maceration. That may be at play but as I did sense some tannins and alcohol it does not keep this from having some body. 

Normally the “medium” nature of many of this wine’s characteristics mighttttt make it far to normal, but like that gal at the bar it is not. It is light enough to banter with but deep enough to carry on with. And if the two of you keep talking well…that friendship may deepen.

I do like flowers

20 Apr

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It’s spring! Sunshine! Rebirth! Daffodils! Matzo!

Etc.

Time for new stuff, I say. Time for a trip to visit Faith & Flower. It has been open less than a month, but I wanted to visit. I’m trying to be a more intrepid reporter here. I can’t be totally intrepid. Maybe more in-tepid, since I do know one of the folks behind this restaurant, and therefore am not visiting undercover. I’ll save disguises for my glory days.

So, Faith and Flower. IT IS BEAUTIFUL.
And things are big.

It all started with a business card. Would you look at the weight of this thing?!

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They say it all starts with first impressions and my first impression was that Faith and Flower wants to impress. The heavy card stock connotes a certain luxury and opulence. Fortunately the actual restaurant follows suit.

It is Luxe with a capital L. A big chandelier (please pronounce French-ishly) welcomes you. There are longgggggg mustard couches for the banquette style seating, that are plush and ridiculously comfortable. I am one of the most persnickety people about comfort of couches and restaurant seating and I loved me some mustard couch.

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Sit down and a rather weighty tome or so are put into your hands. There is a wine list. There is a menu. There is a table of contents for handy navigation. Beyond the menu pages there seems to be a book in…Latin? When I go back to Faith and Flower I’m getting the scoop on that one. But seeing as I am The Book Cook I like it.

Also very important? The things you put in your mouth and don’t swallow.
I REALLY did not mean to make it sound like that. I’m talking about the cutlery and stemware. Get your mind out of the trash. This is a place where you drink your water out of chunky rather medieval goblets. I enjoy a glass with some serious weight to it. It feels encouraging to grasp that sort of cup, like it is full of the elixir of life. Actually it kind of is. Hydration is key. Your wine, if you are drinking a red like I was, was out of glasses that are Texas-sized. The better to let the wine breathe, my dear.

Service is also super-duper important to me. Based on our server’s and sommelier’s knowledge and enthusiasm you would not guess Faith and Flower had barely opened. This joint is driving like a well oiled machine: smoothly. No mistakes.

On to the food and drink. They had fantastic salad. You know me. I judge restaurants on salad (please also pronounce French-ishly-sal-AD) and stemware. My friend thoroughly loved her branzino with a blood orange reduction. Induction? Sauce? It was liquid ok? And it was pretty and according to her tasty.

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I really do apologize for that shot. It was dark in there. I know. Slap on the back of the hand.
Sommelier Jared Hooper recommended a wine to challenge our palates, an RPM Gamay. Normally you think of Gamay as a Beaujolais grape but this wine tasted like anything but. It was robust and had a pleasant bite. Later he brought a French gamay to the table so we could compare and contrast. The whole wine list is like this: full of wine to challenge and surprise your taste buds. Do the work and you are well rewarded. Later in the evening I sipped a glass of Roederer and upon learning that vodka was her calling, my friend was recommended the Vaudeville, which is the concoction you see at the top of the post.

I honestly need to go back to try more of the food and cocktails. And wine. And to lounge on those couches. I will report back, but if Faith and Flower keeps up the performance I saw it give, it is in excellent shape to be a downtown staple. Not to be confused with the downtown Staples center because that is hell on earth.

Oh, and lastly, goth me wants to smuggle the candelabra home.
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Oh, and incidentally I do LOVE flowers.

Faith & Flower
705 W. 9th Street
Los Angeles, CA
90015
213-239-0643