also known as…

Woman on the Verge of a Glass of Wine

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mid-Summer Night's Doldrum

I know. I know. Where have I been? Why haven't I been blogging?

Well, I'll tell you, I've been in what I call the wine doldrums. I've been tasting wine fairly regularly, but nothing has really excited me. It's not that I'm not trying, or that I haven't tasted anything good and drinkable, but it all just been basically kind of blah. Nothing has knocked my socks off. No pizzaz. No personality.

Of course, a lot of my attitude about the wine I've tasted lately has to do with my attitude in general. I don't know if I'm clouded by the lazy quality of mid-summer days, or by my general desire at this time of year to go on a three month vacation like my kids do. All I do know is that I'm not falling head over heals over much of the wine I've been tasting lately.

That is until yesterday, when my wine rep from Beaune Imports poured me a taste of François Chidaine's 2009 Touraine. François is very old fashioned in his attitude toward wine making, which fortunately includes his commitment to organic farming. Chidaine is a bit of a hero to me in this regard because not only does he produce outstanding, elegant wines, but he is also someone who walks the walk, rather than talk the talk. He has been farming organically for years and more recently moved to biodynamics. But rather than use this fact as a marketing tool, he doesn't mention any of it on his wine's labeling. Many people who go to effort of becoming certified organic, which in itself is a long and tedious process, tend to announce their certification to the world. Clearly, Chidaine farms this way because he believes that this is the way it must be done, and not because it is popular or commercially of the moment. The quality of his wines stand on their own merit.

I always find white wines from Touraine to be really interesting. Both Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc are grown there and although these varieties couldn't be more different, they always seem to take on each other's characteristics when bottled in this appellation. Chenin, to me, tastes like Sauvignon Blanc and vice-versa. In the case of Chidaine's wine, this 100% Sauvignon Blanc shows aromatic notes akin to Chenin Blanc, namely in its touches of talcum powder, glycerine and delicate citrus scents. On the palate the wine is strikingly fresh and tart with soft tropical touches and elegant acid structure. It has amazing minerality that results in a salted plum quality that is both savory and refreshing. This wine immediately brought me out of my wine funk and reawakened my zest for all things wine.

I could literally drink this wine everyday, especially since it's pretty affordable. And, since I'm putting it on my lists at Tavern and Lucques by the glass next week, I probably will.

P.S. We'll be pouring this wine at this weekend's Sunday Supper at Lucques. It will pair amazingly with the melon, proscuitto, mint and crème fraîche appetizer. Come by and join us!