Above: Last night, Tracie B and I opened Puffeney’s 2006 Trousseau, one of those “original” wines that we couldn’t stop talking about. Photos by Tracie B.
The wines from the Jura first came to my attention at one of my favorite restaurants in the world, L’Utopie in Québec City when my band Nous Non Plus was on tour there a few years back. Thirty-something owner and sommelier Frédéric Gauthier has an amazing palate and his list has always delivered something unusual and exciting to my table.
At a talk on modern vs. traditional wines he gave in New York a number of years ago, Angelo Gaja discussed what he called “original” wines: wines that “surprise” you, he said.
The Trousseau, like nearly everything I’ve tasted from the Jura, was one of those “original” wines: it’s one of those wines that could only be made in that place, by those people, using the grapes, the techniques, and the terroir that belong uniquely to them. It was light in body but with some confident tannin, with berry fruit and brilliant acidity. Tracie B and I couldn’t stop talking about it: one of those wines that surprises you and speaks of a little mountainous utopia in France along the Swiss border where they make truly wonderful wines.
I know he must have heard it a thousand times but indulge me: “Lay on, Macduff!”
A Do Bianchi Xmas
When Jeremy invited me to send along a note or two from the Xmas holiday season, I figured, “Sure thing!” I could just write up the Extra Brut Réserve Champagne from Bérèche et Fils, the one and only wine I savored with Christmas dinner. But nah, it’s the holidays and everyone else will write up Champagne. So how about some Italian sparklers? I could regale his readers with stories of how good the Prosecco Montello e Colli Asolani Extra Dry from Bele Casel was with my wife’s frittata (mushroom, sausage and sage) and homemade scones we served at our post-holiday brunch. Or of how well G.D. Vajra’s 2007 Moscato d’Asti worked with the cherry pie our friend baked and brought along. But nah, those are too obvious as well, too much in keeping with the Italianate leanings here at Do Bianchi.
Finally, I decided on bubbles of another kind entirely: beer. I picked up a case of Jolly Pumpkin’s “La Roja” around holiday time last year and it’s been a real pleasure to check in with a bottle periodically, to experience its evolution from sour, bright and funky early in the year to its current state—mellower, slightly less tangy and altogether refreshing. Perfect with a simple dinner of shrimp and chips after all the Christmas season feasting. Now if only I knew what I’ll be doing for New Year’s…