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MWG April 17th tasting (4/6): The Greek, the Beauj’ and the Funky

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Naoussa 2012, Jeunes vignes de Xinomavro, Domaine Thymiopoulos ($18.70, 12212220)
100% biodynamically farmed Xinomavro from ten-year-old vines. Manually harvested. 80% destemmed, 20% whole cluster pressed. Very gentle pressing. Fermented with indigenous yeasts and no pump-overs. Macerated about one week, then matured nine months in stainless steel tanks. Bottled unfiltered. 13.5% ABV.
A bit stinky on opening, as sometimes happens with this wine. That quickly blew off, leaving a charming nose of slate, candied red berries and spice. Denser than some earlier vintages but still fresh and supple, the fruit pure, the acidity bright and the tannins light and just a little raspy. Dried herbs, spice and minerals add savour. Finishes clean and tangy. Yet another winner from Thymiopoulos. (Buy again? In multiples.)

Morgon 2012, Marcel Lapierre ($30.50, Rézin, NLA)
This was the “nature” bottling available through the private import channel, not the filtered and more heavily sulphured SAQ bottling. 100% organically farmed Gamay from 60-year-old vines. Manually harvested late in the season. Whole-cluster fermentation with indigenous yeasts at low temperatures lasts ten to 20 days. Matured nine months on the fine lees in old Burgundy oak barrels. Bottled unfiltered, unfined and with minimal sulphur. 12.5% ABV.
Cherry, stones, vine sap and faint spice. Silky fruit, bright acidity, supple tannins and that Lapierre trick of being both etherial and intense. Slow-fade finish with lingering scents of minerals, berries and flowers. Classic and delicious. I’m guessing this will peak in two to three years. (Buy again? Yes.)

Vino da tavola 2011, Rosso frizzante, Sottobosco, Ca’ de Noci ($24.00, Ward & associés, NLA)
A blend of organically farmed Lambrusco Grasparossa (30%), Lambrusco di Montericco (30%), Malbo Gentile (20%) and Sgavetta (20%) from ten-year-old vines. Manually harvested. The grapes are macerated for around ten days on their skins and fermented with indigenous yeasts. Refermentation in the bottle (to produce the sparkle) is also natural. Unfiltered and unfined. 11% ABV.
Popped and poured. The wildly funky nose elicited all kinds of reactions, including the descriptor fetid. The miasma lifted some as the wine breathed, allowing hints of slate and red and black fruit to emerge. (A taster who had previously encountered the wine said ours was an unusually stinky bottle.) In the mouth, it’s bone dry, tart and astringent. The light fizz adds a mild creaminess that polishes, if only a little, the coarse texture. Surprisingly mouth-filling fruit and earthy flavours last well into the finish. Despite everything, good enough to make you think a cleaner bottle might have a genuine rustic appeal. (Buy again? With my fingers crossed.)

The common thread in this flight was wines that would work with charcuterie. Our cured meats came in the form of duck prosciutto and pork and duck rillettes from Pork Futures and a gifted dry sausage whose provenance I don’t recall. While all three wines proved up to the task, I found the Naoussa best with the prosciutto, the Morgon best with the fatty, mild rillettes and the Sottobosco best with the prosciutto and the darkly flavoured sausage.

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