From one French extreme to another in Hollywood

Above: oxidized Brin de Chèvre (Menu Pineau) by Puzelat at Lou on Vine.

There is more interesting wine in Los Angeles than the skeptic in me expected to find here. This week found me at Lou on Vine, a fantastic natural wine bar located next to a Thai Massage parlor in a strip mall on the corner of Melrose and Vine. Lou is my new favorite Southland hangout and I’ll be devoting a post to it soon. Sommelier David poured me a glass of super stinky, excellent 2006 Menu Pineau — a rare Loire variety — by natural winemaker Puzelat. Its initial nose of nail polish remover (noted my friend and Nous Non Plus’ manager John Mastro) gave way to nutty and fruit flavors. I really dug this wine, as did John.

Above: halibut with bacon, sorrel and gribiche paired nicely with the Corton-Charlemagne generously opened by David Schachter.

Yesterday delivered the other extreme in the spectrum of French viticulture with a 2005 Corton-Charlemagne by Jadot, corked by my friend and collector David Schachter at AOC, one of Tinseltown’s wine-centric mainstays. This was one of the most gorgeous expressions of Chardonnay I’ve ever tasted and whatever minerality it may have lost in the warm vintage was made up for by a wide range of fruit flavors that revealed themselves over the course of the evening (I reserved a glass to drink at the end of the night). The restaurant seemed a little off (a “B+ evening” for the venue, said David) but the wine service was excellent and I definitely want to check it out again. He also opened a 1999 Cascina Francia by Conterno. It was very tight but opened up nicely.

Life in the City of Angels seems to be defined by extremes like these. So far, so good…

One thought on “From one French extreme to another in Hollywood

  1. I love the Brin de Chevre. I also love the 2005 Menu Pineau under the Puzelat label which should be available now also. Another year in the bottle was great for that wine. Nail polish remover is a great descriptor for this wine upon opening, and it turns some folks off. but as you found, there are great rewards to waiting for it to open up.

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