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MWG January 10th tasting (2/7): Two cool-climate whites

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Sancerre 2011, Sur le Fort, Domaine Fouassier ($26.40, 12 bottles/case, La QV)
100% biodyanmically farmed Sauvignon Blanc from ten- to 20-year-old vines. Manually harvested. Destemmed. Fermented with indigenous yeasts. Work in the cellar is based on the lunar calendar.
Classic Sancerre nose: gooseberry, kiwi, grapefruit, chalk and flint. Ripe and extracted though bone dry and surprisingly unfruity. Superficially soft and round but possessed of a strong acidic undercurrent. Long, extremely saline finish. Less immediately dazzling than some Sancerres, this grew on me. I suspect it’s quite food-friendly; the producer suggests Thai-style shrimp or seared tuna with sweet potatoes (!) as pairings. (Buy again? Sure.)

Chardonnay 2011, Alto Adige, Peter Zemmer ($24.50, 12 bottles/case, La QV)
100% Chardonnay. The estate’s vineyards are located on the valley floor around Cortina, one of the southernmost villages in the Alto Adige. Zemmer’s website refers to “natural” wines but doesn’t go into specifics; La QV labels the estate’s viticultural practices as raisonné (sustainable). The grapes are given a short maceration before being pressed. The resulting must is clarified by settling. Fermented with selected yeasts at 19ºC (66ºF). 13.5% ABV.
Discreet nose: pear, mineral, smoke and white flowers evolving into lemon. Medium weight, fresh and very dry. The fruit is ripe and clean but could use more oomph, more zing. Turns a little sour on the minerally finish. Not a ton of depth or character, leading one taster, a look-on-the-bright-sider, to describe it as “linear.” (Buy again? While it’s a decent wine, probably not, especially when knock-out Chards can be had for $6 less.)

Written by carswell

January 24, 2013 at 11:02

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