From the department of “some how, some way, I get to taste funky-assed wines like every single day”…
Collectors generally want to “taste me” (as we say in the biz) on their Italian lots. Thanks to their generosity, I’ve had the opportunity to taste many Italian wines that would otherwise be out-of-reach for a bourgeois like me.
Occasionally, someone will break out some bottles from their French collection for me. And that’s what happened when a blogging colleague of mine, the inimitable and brilliantly dynamic Adam Japko, thoughtfully brought two bottles of the extremely rare Clos Rougeard Saumur-Champigny to Austin last week.
My tasting note:
I had never had the chance to taste the wines previously and it was clear, from first sip, why so many great tasters and writers hold this wine to be the greatest expression of Cabernet Franc from the Loire valley.
Here’s Dressner’s haughty backgrounder on the estate.
To it, I’ll only add that these wines are the apotheosis of what I like to call the “unbearable lightness” in wine, where richness and power find a graceful and willing dance partner in elegance and nuance.
Adam also tasted me on the Valentina Cubi Amarone della Valpolicella, a gem of a wine and wonderful discovery that he made by chance on a business trip to Verona.
One of the signatures of biodynamically farmed wines like this is their Technicolor fruit and electric acidity. And when you combine those elements with “typicity,” you are guaranteed a winner.
I liked the wine a lot and loved its food-friendliness. So many expressions of overcropped Valpolicella go for “big” and “bold” and “muscular” these days. It’s great to see a “gentlewoman” farmer like Valentina embrace the traditional style and deliver wines that can be enjoyed at the table.
I’ve made so many wonderful friends through wineblogging. And my newly sparked friendship with Adam is such a great example of how blogging creates vibrant networks of like-minded and similarly spirited people.
We had so much fun that we would have stayed to close the joint if I didn’t need to get back to my girls and he didn’t need to get some rest before his talk the next day.
Adam, thanks, again, man, for the generosity, friendship, and solidarity… Know you have a friend in Austin and there’s always a seat at our dinner table for you…
But, then again, you already knew that… :)
Love, love, love Rougeard. Achingly pure and beautiful wines. So glad you got to try them!
“Achingly pure”… so true! I was so geeked to taste them and thrilled when Adam pulled them out of his bag.
Samantha, you’d really like Adam, too. He’s our kinda peeps.
thanks for the comment! :)
I’d love to meet him. If you are ever in the Loire you must make a point of going to see the cellars at Clos Rougeard, so crazy that I was terrified that I might get lost in its moldy, dank and mysterious tunnels. I always think of this when I dream of Rougeard, “Charles Joguet, fellow winemaking star from Chinon, as saying: “There are two suns. One shines outside for everybody. The second shines in the Foucaults’ cellar.” that and my boss and I have always thought that Nadi Foucault has the vision of a Loire winemaker but the soul of a Burgundian….
I LOVE your post today, Samantha! Friggin’ brilliant… thanks for being here and for your awesome writing! abbraccio
Samantha, would love to connect some time. It will be hard to top Jeremy and my Rougeard interlude, but I can certainly try. Jeremy, awesome post and once again, thanks for keeping Italian wines front and center in so many wino’s worlds.
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