donderdag 21 april 2011

Givry Blanc

You're not likely to miss that Givry was Henry the 4th's favourite wine because lots of Givry makers put it on their label. But did he fancy the red or the white Givry? Nobody knows.

Henry III of Navarre, changed his country and religion (Paris vaut bien une messe!) to become Henry IV of France, the first of the Bourbon line. His reign was clouded by religious unrest between Protestants and Catholics and although he concluded the Edict of Nantes, aimed at creating peace between the two religions, he was murdered by an extremist catholic monk in 1610.

Equally interesting, to some at least, is the length of the list summing up his children, both legitimate and illegitimate by his wife and (several) mistresses. In short: a busy guy!

And on top of that he loved Givry! The man can't have been that bad.

I drank my first Givry 5-6 years ago and although I haven't any regal pretensions, it's one of my favourites too. The appellation, one of the most southernmost of Burgundy, covers around 220 ha (approx. half of that in 1er Cru) for red and 45 ha (about 25 % of that in 1er Cru) for white. There isn't that much Givry around and especially white can be difficult to find. Since a couple of years I enjoy the Givry of Chofflet-Valdenaire. The estate covers 11 ha, all on the commune of Givry. The cellar is to be found in Russilly, a small hammock a few kilometers off the centre of Givry. They practice "lutte raisonnée" and minimise the use of pesticides and use primarily natural fertilizers. Their constant quality and excellent price/quality ratio make them my favourite. Recently I opened up my first bottle of 2009 Cuvée Les Galaffres and it was exactly as you can expect, a light, flowery, slightly buttery Chardonnay with a nice tinge of acidity. Try that with Lotte aux Poiraux and you'll be delighted.

What I particularly like in Givry is that, unlike some other appellations from Burgundy, it usually must be drank young (within 5-6 years) and although it deserves to age a few years to come to full fruition, you don't have to wait 5 years or longer before you open up your first bottle. For somebody as impatient as I am, a blessing.

In red, I had previously only bought their Clos de Choué, 1er Cru but this year I added some of the Clos de Jus, also 1er Cru. I have tried the Clos de Choué and it will have to rest another 6-9 months before I open up another one. The Clos de Jus, noticeably more robust than the Clos de Choué will definitely have to wait a little longer. But I have something to look out for.

dinsdag 29 maart 2011

Arbois - Chardonnay la Fauquette 2004

Just recently, following a link on Bourgogne Wineblog, I stumbled on CrazyYellow, a blog dedicated solely to wines from the Jura. What a dedication!

One of his blogs covers Michel Gahier from Montigny lés Arsures in depth. And I remembered vividly the disappointment I encountered on a day that, passing by chance in the region and having stopped on the little square in front of the church, I asked passers-by if they could indicate me a good address to buy a few bottles of wine. Unknowingly I had asked this to a sommelier and his 3 trainees who had just done a visit at Michel Gahier and recommended the house as being one of the best in the region.

Michel Gahier must be quite good indeed because he had hardly anything left for sale - hence my disappointment.

No Savagnin left, no Poulsard left, but I brought home some of his Chardonnay les Crets and la Fauquette of 2004 and possibly his last bottles of Trousseau 2006.

I still have 2 Fauquette's and 2 Troussaud's and the reading convinced me it was time to taste another Fauquette.

My wife had prepared a delicious mixed omelet with tomato, cottage cheese, bacon and herbs and I decided this was a perfect match for the Chardonnay.

And so it was! Brilliant dark yellow with fine tears, a nose that brings out nuts, spices and the inevitable apples. Very round in the mouth, quite some power and a delicious, springy acidity at the end. A gorgeous bottle!

And disappointed again because I only have 1 bottle left now! But this one I will save for a Sunday chicken tajine or maybe even a veal cutlet with champignon-sauce. In two years from now, I guess. In between I'll definitely visit Michel Gahier again.