Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

My life as a high-roller

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Updated October 24, 2010. See note below.

Tastes of two wines served double-blind at SAQ outlets. The first bottle had been open for about 18 hours, the second for about five. I didn’t take notes, so this is from memory.

Wine 1 was unmistakably Sauvignon Blanc, the nose all gooseberries, grapefruit and grass on wet stones. But from where? There was a roundness and weight that seemed New Worldish, yet it wasn’t caricatured like New Zealand SBs so often are: no one would accuse this of tasting like Fresca. On the other hand, the creamy texture, hints of oak, mineral- and acid-dominating fruit didn’t exactly scream, oh, Sancerre. Still, the wine had presence: a lithe muscularity, great follow-through and, despite the flashiness, undeniable class. It drew me back, made me want to spend more time with it. Waiting for the bottle to be unveiled, I studied the store’s Loire section, looking for candidates. Not many. It couldn’t be that $20 Chard-heavy Cheverny, could it? That would qualify as the bargain of the century. Had I looked instead in the locked display case, I might have guessed right: Blanc Fumé de Pouilly 2007 2006*, Silex, Didier Dagueneau ($95.00, 1151947). Dagueneau’s next-to-last vintage before his untimely death in an ultralight plane accident. It would be interesting to track the wine’s evolution over the next decade or so, but his wines have become cult objects and have prices to match (though the tax-inclusive C$95 is a relative bargain; there are lots of stores in the States where it’s running over US$100 before taxes).

Wine 2 was more red than purple but far from light. A gorgeous nose: red berries and forest floor, a touch of sweet oak and a spice chest that put me in mind of a Quintarelli Valpolicella. A sip ruled out the Italian connection. Likely Pinot Noir. Possibly French. Yet, again, so rich and dense – the texture more velvet than silk, the fruit so ripe, the tannins so cushioned – you had to wonder whether it wasn’t some damn-the-expense New World bottling. Nope: Bonnes-Mares grand cru 2006, Fougeray de Beauclair ($165.25, 10926608). Impressive and even accessible now (if the store hadn’t been about to close, I’d have spent another five minutes with my nose stuck in the glass) but still a baby.

*UPDATE: As at least one SAQ wine advisor has discovered, the labels on some of the bottles of the Silex currently sold at the SAQ give the vintage as 2007 but all the corks have 2006 printed on them (as the bottles don’t have capsules, it’s easy to check). In this case, the cork trumps the label: the estate has confirmed that the SAQ’s current “2007s” are in fact mislabelled 2006s. See this discussion on La Paulée En Ligne for details. As of Sunday, October 24, the SAQ’s website still listed the wine as the 2007.

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Written by carswell

October 18, 2010 at 10:00

Posted in Tasting notes

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. […] 2007 but the cork, which I didn’t see, said 2006. The cork was right. See the now-updated original post for a link to a discussion with all the gory […]

    Oops… « Brett happens

    October 24, 2010 at 21:35


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