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Three Arbois reds

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Arbois 2012, Poulsard de l’Ami Karl, Domaine de la Pinte ($24.25, 12616515)
100% biodynamically and organically farmed Poulsard from a single vineyard planted nearly 40 years ago. Manually harvested. Destemmed. Maceration and fermentation, with indigenous yeasts and daily pump-overs, take place in tanks. Matured in 50-hl oak barrels for eight or nine months. Lightly filtered before bottling. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: Raisonnance.
Fragrant nose of red berries, sweet spice, cedar and slate. Light- to medium-bodied, silky textured, wonderfully fresh, fluid and alive. The pale cherry-cranberry fruit is bright with acidity and deepened by a savoury, woodsy substrate. Chewing reveals fine, tight tannins, showing the wine to be more structured than first appears. Long, spicy finish. Bordering on magical – even New World fans and self-proclaimed Poulsard haters gave it a thumbs-up. Serve lightly chilled. (Buy again? Done and done again!)

Arbois 2011, Trousseau Grevillière, Domaine Daniel Dugois ($24.55, 12210419)
100% Trousseau from vines planted in the one-hectare Grevillière lieu-dit in the 1950s. Manually harvested. 100% destemmed. The lightly crushed grapes are cold-macerated then fermented with indigenous yeasts for around 18 days. Matured in large oak barrels for 18 months. Lightly filtered before bottling. Reducing sugar: 1.7 g/l. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: Symbiose.
Jammy red berries and crushed leaves. Round, extracted and mouth-filling. The fruit, which tastes stewed, is structured only a little by the streaming acidity and soft tannins. Decent length but heavy for a Jura red, lacking detail and devoid of excitement. Some drinkers report it needs a few years in the cellar or many hours in a carafe to start strutting its stuff; maybe that explains it. (Buy again? A bottle to age and see what gives?)

Arbois 2013, Poulsard, Jacques Puffeney ($31.50, private import, 12 bottles/case)
100% organically farmed Poulsard from several different parcels in Montigny and Arbois. Manually harvested. Fermented in vats with indigenous yeasts for 15 to 20 days, then racked into neutral foudres for malolactic fermentation. Matured in barrels for around two years. Unfiltered and unfined. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Vini-Vins.
Closed nose, somewhat slatey and offering up an unusual aroma one taster described as “cold poutine.” Slowly develops minty raspberry and cedar shake notes. Similarly closed and unexpressive in the mouth. Light- to medium-bodied. The fruit is lean, the acidity brisk, the tannins light and tight. Minerals and spice come out on the long finish. Classic natural Poulsard – hazy, earthy and complex – but somewhat enigmatic and austere for now. Will be interesting to revisit in a couple of years. (Buy again? Yes, especially since this is the retiring Puffeney’s next-to-last vintage.)

MWG October 8th tasting: flight 4 of 7

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Written by carswell

October 19, 2015 at 13:52

2 Responses

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  1. […] This flight was built around the Trollinger and the other two wines were chosen in the hope that they might be close to its light body. Neither was. In fact, I’ve encountered only one wine recently that is: Domaine de la Pinte’s 2012 Arbois “Poulsard de l’ami Karl,” which we tasted back in October. […]

  2. […] compelling that I’ve come close to splurging on a bottle of each. And then I remember that the 2013 Puffeney Poulsard cost $31.50 a bottle (and that was through the higher-markup private import channel), making it […]


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