It was discordant to drive into a normal 'event' space for the Dive. One dock housed the Omnivore Food Festival, which as far as I could see was nothing more than a Food Network program in front of a live audience. The other dock was for the 'Dive." Gone were the fireplaces I huddled around to keep warm in the past, gone was the cool smell and dust of limestone caves. Gone was any sensibility that this was a grass roots movement. The tasting had the lackluster energy of any normal walk around tasting with one exception; there was lots of good wine and one could take for granted that no one enzymed or yeasted or really cared about Parker Points. ****
So, here are some of the pre-lunch standouts.
2006 in general is going to be a dynamite year for Muscadet.
Guy Bossards 2006 Muscadets are brilliant. The Gneiss bottleing was blossom and earth and edge.
Jo Landron has a sparkling gros plant! Wow! Who the hell would ever buy a sparkling wine from the Nantes? ME! But I doubt it will make it to the U.S. It's from the 2003 vintage, got a touch of oxidation that serves it well, in that golden delicious apple sort of way.
Alice & Olivier DeMoor were The Big Discovery.
The DeMoor's are from Chitry, not far from Chablis. An outer-borough Burgundy (like Vezelay and Irancy) is not very well known but can certainly squeeze out some interesting wines. They were showing their '05's.
The simple Bourgogne was my favorite of the three wines which actually tasted more like Chablis than their Chablis Bel Air or Rosette where I did feel the wood influence a tad too much for my liking. However the Tetys hit with a great acidity and then rounded out with a punch of licorice and steel. Their St. Bris and Aligot are worth seeking out.
30 wines later I hit Herv Souhaut's of Le Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet. Herv is our boy from the Ardeche. I had heard some remarks inferring his wines were made in the partial carbonic maceration style (more on that later) which is getting to be so tiresome to myself and others, yet a hallmark for natural wines. This is the style that was the Jules Chauvet method, now also called the Marcel Lapierre method.
Herv flatly denies this accusation and frankly, I didn't perceive any of that bright, cinnamon quality the technique often overlays on the wine. He showed the 2005 reds. The old vine gamay, La Souteronne and the St. Joseph, St. Epine, which had luscious concentrated elegance. It's early on in their evolution but the wines should be very solid.
All in all there were 55 wines before lunch.
****Parker's guy in the Loire, David Schildknecht just visited the area. DS has more of an appreciation of Loire wines both red and white and some people are anticipating high scores leaving many musing about prices on bourgeuil and tourainne cot/pineau d'aunis skyrocketing. The whole prospect gives me hives.