Thursday, August 30, 2012

Not Cheese.

Velenosi Pecorino
Scores of people know that homophonic words are sometimes tricky. We tend to wonder why someone, at any point, would decide to create one term while another, with the same exact pronunciation, exists in the same spoken language. Consider also, those examples of vocabulary that have the same exact spelling and elements of dictation, but have completely different meanings. I’ve wondered about the many coincidences in the world of phonics, but there are some pretty interesting parallels. Especially, I begin to wonder about the “Llama.” A supposed indigenous term for that wooly camel-esque creature that trots down Peruvian hillsides. Is it mere chance that the Spanish word for “Name” is also ‘Llama?’ I personally, do not know for sure, but the idea is just as prevalent when looking at such curiosities as “Duck!” or “Bat.” I know, this is probably much too adolescent and unarguably insipid in value to start meddling with, but sometimes it’s better to question simple ideas than to disassemble the difficult ones. 

It’s why snorts and laughter ensue when I recommend one white wine in particular that has experienced a less than a prestigious following; well, as one would expect, you might understand how certain wines bear the burden of namesakes. You may already know it, but on a dissimilar note, it’s one that claims the same title as a very well-known block of fermented milk which is found in almost every supermarket or local Trattoria. There are some variations, but the two most popular are from Rome and Tuscany. “Pecorino....” I say it with an almost nonchalant attitude, but it has all the comedic intent that most people tend to handle with this statement: “Um...cheese Wine? Seriously...what is it?” Sorry for the letdown, but the fact remains, it doesn’t have anything to do with curds, whey, or casein proteins. 

It has a role as one of the wines found in Italy’s Marche region, but has had little success with would-be drinkers of every other white varietal that exists just about everywhere else. It’s a little on the rustic side, with those imitable sweet tarragon notes, dominated by peaches and the baskets in which they were carried, See: “woodsy.” Think of it as a white without semblances of apples, butter and that breadth of toast and spice. Quite frankly, It’s like a stone fruit packed with herbs and honeycomb. Though not set to explode, it should...I mean, there’s no harm right? Of course I mean this figuratively, but there’s no pain in imagining it. 

Velenosi Offida is one of the more exciting producers as I digress to mention that I was once cleared-out of an entire stockhold of their product. That’s good publicity for them, and bad news for me as I contemplate whether or not I’ll see it again in my lifetime. Not that it’s of lower allocation, but there’s a considerable appeal to this type of thing when you have customers who know when they have a specialty on their hands, and they buy it by the palette. I would sooner recreate the appeal and buy a case myself, but, hey...when able, I get it for free. Don’t judge me on it, but I find myself with some delicious burdens and Pecorino has been one of them. 

I honestly say, if you happen to like cheese enough to pair it with something of similar pedigree, then you might have a point. Both the grapes and the curds themselves come from completely different regions, but somehow, their end products act as complimentary foodstuffs which are still highly interpretive.  I would welcome any person to say they do receive a hint of formaggi here and there, but with Pecorino, I really don’t. Anyone can divulge on the quality of the wine and spread some info on it, but I would not go as far to chuckle about it’s nomenclature. 

Heh...I’m still waiting for Taleggio, or Grana Padano to become a grape one day.      

Brian Maniotis
Wine Warehouse

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Heritage Touraine.

Pascal Pibaleau 
For the good in wine, there’s a particular region that I’ve come to enjoy over the years, given the idea that I can usually be tempted to buy anything, anytime the situation, or the wine itself, is duly presented. I begin to wonder if other people think of me as being somewhat simple in my quest for product, as I tend not to overdo the exploration of said territories, or respected wine niches. I’m just as open-minded as the next person, being able to practice the same old wants and mediocre luxuries that come with variety, but what’s the point in that? There is a point, a good one, and it merits explanation, but not tonight. As always, I share the most rudely-dug, immoral indifference I have towards anything else, and I base topics solely on my own indulgence. Is it a crime? No. If I cannot re-examine my own enjoyment, then how can others begin to do the same for themselves? Ok, before my rant becomes perfused, I must resume being more topical for the respect of readability. 

All this is about Touraine, a fairly sizable appellation in the heart of the Loire Valley, which partakes in my all-time familiar love of Cabernet Franc. I have to admit that this is not entirely about the varietal, as it represents about one-fourth of the volume found in the particular item I’m mentioning. The other upcoming blended grapes, should of course, be profiled too. Ever hear of Pascal Pibaleau? Regardless of the man himself, he’s produced this 2010 blend consisting of “Cot,” which is the idiosyncratic French Malbec, and the rest falls to Gamay; implying a sort of brash confidence in blending, that many have not usually been witnessed to. I mean, all grapes are found in the area and yet, I find the combo somewhat unique though. If there’s anything I like in this world, it’s something remotely “odd-ball.” This one pretty much bags-it-up and takes it all home. 

Normally, I wouldn’t stress the importance of seeing mushrooms, string beans, motor oil and walnuts as working nuances, but it all works here somehow. I admit, this is not wine for the meek, as it harbors a scary adoration for these elements. Now, now, I seem to be leaving out the more fruited aspects, but there’s nothing like  a little cassis, or black currant nuance coming through. Not that anything needs to be edified here, it just helps along those racier, more savory overtones. I quail to think if there’s anything more strange, or potent than this little mix, but I think most of us are in for a surprise, pending that there’s an adventurous spirit within your soul. For about sixteen bucks, it was worth the provincial allure.

Touraine is a big province, or, for that matter, an appellation, consisting of big to-do’s over the production of wine. Most of the famous Loire Chateaux are here, and they produce a diversity of wines that is awesome. Not the sort of “Awesome” a surfer might exclaim, but certainly worth the expression of “Awe” anyone of us is capable of. The Gamay grape I mentioned is usually the most uninteresting one, but it helps bring color and dimension to various blended wines. Also, there’s the threat of condensation in the products here, being that the blending of everything from Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Cab Franc, Malbec and otherwise, continues to exist in a veritable blending pot. Does it mean there is less tradition here? I don’t think so. 

One thing I’ve said about Loire Valley wines, is that they have probably been the most unchanged since their heyday. This is without regard to Touraine itself, and Pibaleau’s “L’Heritage D’Aziaum,” but in the Valley, there’s been little adulteration to oak casks, grapes are harvested just the same as anyone would have begun to exhibit nearly hundreds of years ago, and the purity and practicality of the exports are nearly unmatched. The thing to remember, is that not ignore something just because it tastes like walnut paste and macerated blackberries. I admit, I keep going back to the funky stuff that hails from anywhere, but I’d rather go with a region that knows how to get down with it’s bad (a.k.a, “Good”) to speak. 

Funky-See, Funky-Do. Or something like that. 

Brian Maniotis

Wine Warehouse

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Un-Peated, Unleashed.

Bruichladdich Laddie "10yr"
Ok, I understand, my posts may appear limited by subject, that’s fine. I am all about the spur of things and I can’t get rid of the notion that mother fate has this overwhelming, sometimes acrimonious laugh, permitting me to think she has it out for me. I mean that in the most cordial way, but you have to understand; I’ve taken charge of situations before, but nothing feels more uncertain than the idea of immovable destiny, especially when I feel committed to write impulsive posts on a short range of products both new and old. That’s the truth, regardless of how diverse, complex, or justifiably perverse each entry might appear. That’s why I bring to you again, the perpetual nonchalance of something that has been true to my heart since I first took the first glance about a couple months ago. 
Well, you might have guessed from the title that this is about scotch again, but why not extricate this subject at least one more time? However, I think it’s pretty relevant since I had brought up the all-time immeasurability of the unavoidable. That’s pretty much the case in the world of “Bruichladdich,” a whiskey distillery that has witnessed its own lugubrious aspects of chance. Locked-up and closed for business a handful of times over the past forty years, the new owners have to wonder if the place is haunted, as many denizens of the Islay stronghold have tried effortlessly to make good on the attempt to create exceptional single malts. A bit scary, and somewhat daunting, the chance at creating something new from the ashes of failure has led the team to continue production here. 
What is more, the distillery has proved themselves in whiskey terms, since most of the insight in this business falls on what has already begun. A portfolio consisting of intimidating projects and erstwhile, the classic expressions of the Islay style, the more aged whiskies are great and always available. With those ranging through the 40-year mark, the important piece of the puzzlement is why their un-peated scotches are the bee’s knees. Some would ask what the devil has done with men who decide not to burn compacted grasses and heather to dry the barley. 
The result is a springy, sprightly scotch for those who love it, but do not wish to endure mouthfuls of peat, which can turn-off enthusiasts and beginners alike. Remember though, there are just as many who prefer whiskies that are not heavily peated, and have that youth driven character which makes them more approachable. I for one, was led into obsession by the possibility of an unpeated product, because I love whiskey, but I don’t always have the advantage of enjoying it whenever I want. The problem is, I tend to like one after dinner, or actually, with a simple burger, but the ideal scotch is one I can have anytime, without the possibility of stomach aches when I combine it with something. I should know better, but the concept supersedes my logic and I keep rationalizing why I should be ordering one, at least sometime before dessert. 
The periwinkle, pastel-blue can is something iconic as of late, standing out among others that have a more masculine box, or cylinder, but why not imply the feminine this time? Scotch seems irrevocably chauvinistic a times, and myself, being a guy, tend to admit that some males engage a lot of chest-beating over their favorite whiskey. I’ve seen men  who strictly drink Bourbon just to look tough in front of women, but as it appears, the marginal success within this sort of performance is very limited. But we’re not talking about Bourbon are we? We’re talking about a ten-year old product that has notes of heather, orange, melon, ginger, honey, and vanilla. Practically enough, this could be one of Scotland’s only digestifs; a different, if not an absolutely ambiguous type. 
The one thing to exact, is the taste. Even with some of the peaty characters, the spice, weight and the aging process are relegated to considerable opinion. To call me a lover of spirits is ok, but the love of scotch has to be met with reason. In a business where the eldest whiskies are the most sought-after, the problems tend to accumulate with pricing. Good fortune sometimes comes for those who, despite chance, or cash flow, will enjoy something worthwhile. I can’t think of a time where scotch was more popular than now, but I can see that Bruichladdich, despite a questionable amount of diversity, is somewhat responsible for this much-needed renaissance. 
Time to break the padlock on another haunted distillery. 
Brian Maniotis
Wine Warehouse

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Idyllic Gamay.

R. Descombes Régnié
If you have ever seen one, would you know what it is? Looking upon a single red grape berry, could you make several distinctions about its character?  With a little overtime, you could engage in enough circumspection so as to have the varietal itself, respond to your queries in an English accent. What I mean, is that you can try your damnedest  to unlock the mystery of anything, but even if the object is seemingly inanimate, you could find yourself tirelessly building up enough insanity to act as if you are engaging in dialogue with a piece of fruit. Perhaps, that is not too far off from the role of most oenologists, as I do worry about the great providence they must take when making conclusions. Granted, I am not always forgiving when the science of wine is bridged by speculation and chemistry, but I do enjoy the presence of esoteric datums and diagrams that turn up. Maybe it’s more important than I know, and much more necessary than I am currently divulging; however, I find the particularly unpopular varietlals all the more stigmatizing and chemically ambiguous.
Provided I had the time, you would find me lab-testing the dubious nature of Gamay. Something of a persona-non-grata, the juice that pours from this bulbous fruit might as well be drizzling away through the schist and granite soils where it has become habituated. More specifically, the whole of the Beaujolais region has been the hallmark area for it, but even with the extravaganza of Nouveau season during late November, the interest appears to fall short of favorable. Most people, even those who have escaped novice status in wine drinking, will pass it up for something else. Speaking again of stigmatics, it’s usually pushed into a corner until Thanksgiving arrives, or it’s drinking is readdressed when summertime becomes nothing but maelstroms of heat and sweat. 

Sweat. Funny term, considering that most people tend to regard it as worse, or, if the original term persists, the previously referenced word needs no mitigation. I have no reason to think of it that way, because myself and many others enjoy the grape for its juicy integrity, deep phenolic spectrum and the way it stresses practicality. Provided, there are some relatively expensive ones, but rightfully, it goes on to be a force of accessibility. Beaujolais sits at the southern border of Burgundy, and I would like to think of them both as mutually beneficial, they are in some cases, but it hasn’t come to total fruition for my particular tastes. Think of Brouilly, Regnie, Morgon, Fleurie, Julienas, Moulin-a-Vent and so on, in terms of appellation, but all are good and all are priced fairly where applicable. You are paying more for a Premiere Cru, or 1st Label, but still, the revelations are delicious. 
Domaine Vougeon - Brouilly
Domaine Vougeon 
Think of juices, crushed tart berries, flowers, and under-ripe black plums. That’s the general tableau of nuances for most, but some are exceptionally meaty and savory in the Fleurie and Régnié A.O.C’s, appearing a little more rustic and old-worldly, but the fact remains, they need to be lauded for more than they are currently worth, especially in the presence of buyers. I enjoyed Domaine Vougeon’s “Brouilly” as of late, and as it was not highly extracted, this sort of discovery and wonderment existed in the refreshment, as I would not trade that in, even for something lush and effluent. I saw hints of rose, violet, blueberry essence, red plum, and a slight touch of crushed blackberries. Thirst was not an issue, as it played contritely as a lighter-bodied wine with a touch of culinary adaptability. Something with a little more gratuity, the “R. Descombes,” a Régnié, gave off hints of verjus, sea salt, redcurrant and fig. If you desire muscular wine, it might be the one you’ve been pining for.   
For those who know the nature of the Grape, it’s thin-skinned, has a high glycerin content, but implies a fresh, but bright nature that seems principally youthful. Some tend to confuse it for Pinot Noir, but there’s no contention. Pinot can actually show more guile, but Gamay is provokingly basic. The idea is not to rely too much on “Beaujolais Nouveau;” which by default, makes its annual appearance. The product has made the 'Beauj' region a bastion of successful winemaking in the Americas, but due to it’s export history, interest is only dominated during every third week of November, when the product is released to consumers. With carbonic maceration, and a short ageing period, the purpose is to create a soft, approachable wine for the cornucopian food holidays. 
The object of Gamay does not seem to rest in finality. The Loire Valley, and other outside countries have been playing unceremoniously with the varietal, but there are plans just as with any other grape, to look into furthering its potential. Some feel remorseful, some feel enchanted, but the only problem with the wine, or the finished product, it seems, are the simple misunderstandings. One can put labels on a wine, and few actually do state the name of the fruit responsible, but that may as well be tradition instead of misconduct. The opinions will vary, given the attitude of those interested, but the fact remains, is that this particular berry needs its followers, its lowly entourage needs to be something much more than a few pins pressed on the French map.
Or...would you prefer brass tacks instead?
Brian Maniotis
Wine Warehouse
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Friday, July 20, 2012

A Tolerance For Pinot.

Three Rocks Pinot Noir
The problem is, that most people would sell their soul for a good one. I completely understand, and don’t get me wrong, I can see why. Though whatever entity you might have bartered with, it still might not be the best decision you’ve made. I can divulge information on several persons who might be very well interested in exchanging goods and services for your spiritual immortality, but you have your dignity don’t you? It’s fine, really. There are plenty of good people who have felt downtrodden by bad Noir, and I am one of them, but then again, there’s a constance of “difficult” wines pushed on me and I don’t always like it either. The point is, you might have seen the “devil’s grape” and came out unscathed, but it’s likely you’re still shaken up by the sight of hellfire and pitchforks.
I say “Tolerable” because so many people have the burden of knowing that Pinot Noir is fickle, sometimes unreasonable, and altogether, a large investment teetering towards crapshoot status. If you’ve ever owned a vineyard, then this is nearly unquestionable, and there’s reasonable proof that you’re not always getting what you pay for whether you’re making it, or drinking it. I have to point out that the cost is sometimes unbearable, and there’s a terrible feeling of wrongdoing when you look at a bottle amorously and it doesn’t quite reveal the same expression. There are usually two good reasons why this happens and it’s not always our fault, but the problem lies in that all-too familiar problem with money. 
P. Andre CNV
I have said too many times, that people who set limitations, or price brackets on what they spend, tend to do the same for Pinot Noir, and it can wind up being a crisis, and not the festivity it should be. Over and over, I have said, with testament, that it pays to throw a couple of extra clams into the pot in order to see what the grape has to offer us, but non-believers always seem to partake in the severe realization that it was good advice they should have mindfully utilized. I’m not saying others are wrong, but when you look at the consequences of having a grape that’s been equally manipulated as much as it’s been touted, the theory is, that you might want to do your research on it. 
Pinot doesn’t like climatic disparity, and it strives for equilibrium in a world where the concept of “good cheese” is represented by doling-out wafer thin platforms of underaged curd, pressing it into familiar shapes and packaging the results into quadric folds of flimsy, translucent plastic. California has a bad reputation for mass producing, but then again, they are still part of the solution when it comes to better Noir. Most of the time, the major complaints from enthusiasts are, the overt manipulation and the lack of complexity due to a lack of induction from rich, loamy soils and mature grapevines. For buyers, the wine just isn’t as good, or interesting enough. 
The answer is, to find one that has the quintessential nuance and balance that one would look for. Generally, your Pinot is meant to be medium-bodied, finessed and at most, a little smoky, or earthy depending on the ritual of winemaking. Burgundy has some higher-priced entries, and they can spin concentric circles of good wine around California, because they have the terroir for it. That’s why I liked Pierre Andre’s Cote De Nuits Villages, which at $22 bucks, had a bevy of raspberry elements interwoven through a platform of black fig, juicy cherry and wild sweet herbal elements. Oh, and hints of mineral no less...Delicious! However, Three Rocks, has shown some clout in recent years with their 2009 Arroyo Grande which sources their fruit from the acclaimed Talley Vineyards sites. For just under twenty dollars, It’s a little more fruit-driven, but the outcome is one of melty black cherry and sandalwood notes, compiled within a haughty frame of dark, black berries and Darjeeling tea elements.            
As the problem persists, I remind everyone that the positive points of this grape, are far greater than the cherubic little name that the French gave it long ago. You would think something that literally translates to: “Black Pine” would sound cute and harmonious, but it isn’t. It takes a lot of work to cultivate and the results are sometimes not worth the physical and mental strain of eager winemakers. I would sooner acquire something that is more generous, more extracted for the money, but I have to admit there’s a certain versatility to a good Pinot Noir, that can pair with everything from pasta, fish, pork and lean cuts of red meat. Granted, not every bottle is expensive, but the aesthetic is, that you should really consider taking out a couple dollars from of the swear jar that you made, to pay for a better Pinot. Or else, you could be reeling through a vicious cycle where you curse bad wine and wind up losing even more money. 
We all love that. 
Brian Maniotis
Wine Warehouse
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Saturday, July 14, 2012

No Lux for Luxembourg

Clos Des Rochers Auxerrois
You’ve heard of the major wine regions in France. You might have seen those little splashes of color spilled onto the map, making the country appear as if it were once a blank canvas. Sure, there’s more than a couple waterways adding to the palette, but nothing so artistically perverse as you would see from a post-modern artistic genius. Call it art, call it geography, but the idea is to indicate exactly where these places are, so as not to confuse the information-seekers. But even for those who know a little about regional wines and their exact locations, a few of us may be a little stymied about some of the more unpopular areas. They’re not difficult to find, and not always easy to place, but there’s great juice flowing out of that one niche you have probably never seen. 
However, this post has nothing to do with France. You might have been unexpectedly hoping for another topic, so here’s your chance to embark on something a little onerous this time around. It has to do with Luxembourg, which is one of the most aptly forgotten viticultural landscapes that the wine world has left to personal interpretation. Yet, most people do not even know anything about it, regardless of wine, or it’s geographical employ. Well, for a crackerjack lesson, the country borders Belgium, France and Germany, stood in neutrality through the World Wars, and currently accepts the Euro as legal tender. Easy enough right? But the real cinch is that they’ve been making wine for the longest time, and the results may surprise you. 
For all immediacy, Auxerrois (*Aww-Zur-Rah*) is not a household name and due to a lack of permeation in the Americas, the grape has not seen too much publicity. Most would cringe at having to pronounce the varietal’s namesake, and do not bother in doing so, but you have the relief of knowing that Pinot Blanc is a little easier on the lips. Yes, the two major players are here, and they’ve been making a stir of changes since their arrival. However, the remnant fact appears to be that people would like either-or if they simply understood their circumstance. 
The Pinot Blanc
The mapping of the Lux wineshed, appears to have taken on the coalescence of Germanic and French-style practices and philosophy over the years and the final products tend to represent just that. The Auxerrois is by all estimation, similar to that of a dry Riesling, with a range of savory elements and a brisk, almost mineral-driven expectancy with macerated apricots to follow...See: “Clos De Rochers.” You might guess that Pinot Blanc is somewhat of a force elsewhere, and you’re right, but the idea with this one, is to implore buyers to see that it’s just as soft, just as bright comparatively, to Alsace’s claim for creating some of the best whites from this grape. Think of it as “P.B.” without the “J” and you’ve got something there. It’s nutty, smooth, sometimes creamy, and if you like, could represent itself amicably with the common apple. Confused? Don’t be, because it’s all about the “oohs!” and veritable “Ah’s!” that one could exclaim if they knew how quenching these table wines can be. For example, See again: “Clos De Rochers.”
Luxembourg has been pressured to make their exports a little more available as of late, but new products are making headway. Not only does the country suspend two seemingly unpopular varietals, but they owe to us, in tandem, wine made from the more popularized Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris varietals. My guess, is that if locals want to make good on an attempt to provide thirsty Americans with a valuable experience, then they can deliver wines with more affordability than some higher-priced staples from Germany, or France. 
What I see, is a country without a trade chip, basically, a caricature of a good gambler in need of confidence. I do not know if Luxembourg will beat out a phantom competitor like Switzerland in the slow outpouring of success, but at this point, they should. I’m not brow-beating them in accusation, but we’ve already made it clear that we need more good juice. Granted, more people should be endeared by such a delicacy, but we’re not. Most of us tend to revel in the old maelstrom of Chardonnays and white Pinot, so it’s our fault too. I have to act like a classic parent in the matter, and say to all of our fellow wine drinking brethren: “Well, too bad you’re not interested, because, you know...your missing-out buddy!” Ugh! what’s the point though, right? I know you’ve heard the underdog story ad-nauseam, so I’m not pushing this critique of good wine any further.
 That is, if you want me to be some kind of hero. 
Brian Maniotis
Wine Warehouse
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Friday, July 6, 2012

Chardonnay's Non-Commital.

Peirano Chardonnay
I’m like you...not in the the most personal sense, but in a more relative frame of mind. There’s no need to feel confused by that statement, because in the end, isn’t the basic human world dependent on matching interests and direct communion with others? Perhaps, it’s the idea of comparison which helps us to understand exactly why we enjoy things en mass. At times, the appeal of something standardized is what leads us to share in that imminent bonding that’s similarly found at your annual Sci-Fi convention, or a local comic-con. Whether or not that makes sense, is up to you, but all I’m trying to say, is that I’ve found a fairly new piece of equipment capable of dismantling some of the uncertainties seen in that all-too-opinionated concept of personal enjoyment. 
Listen, you foredefeated members of the “A.B.C.” crowd! You don’t have to like Chard to be a part of a club, and I don’t suspect you’re going to dislike this post because I’m talking about something which you probably have no interest in whatsoever; in time, you will...yes, in time. Just in case you are still uncertain about my plight, that whole abecedarian acronym I mentioned in the first sentence, focuses on the “Anything But Chardonnay” mindset. I can understand why a lot of these people dislike the stuff, but then again, if you find the right one, then who is to say that you really belong to such a clandestine group such as they? I have had many a doubtful and remorseful bash with this particular type of grape, but not as much as some would think. I would normally advocate going with a youthful, but loamy "Aligoté" but, guess what? It's the same grape according to Burgundians.    
I generally do not like it, but If someone is willing for one minute to suggest something contrarian to an overtly-oaked, overtly-buttered profile that happens to be a staple within many winemaking cultures, I’m all for it. California has been privy to a bad succession of repeals with Chardonnay, but there’s always hope nonetheless, since even they have blockbusting results as of late. There seems to be a pipsqueak revolution in the State, where less fruity, more balanced wines are being created. I’m sick of too much malolactic fermentation, and I think it’s a preternatural cop-out for certain vignerons who have less time to work and more time to play. 
Roulot Aligoté 
If the Chard is all butter, all spice, all apples and pears, then too much manipulation has occurred. Mutually exclusive, if there’s nothing but white tea, lemons, steel and dried cheese, then there’s been little effort to complete the winemaking equation. With “Malolatic,” you might as well have gone to the movies, because If you want popcorn with all the trimmings, then don’t waste your time buying a bottle for the cost of a ticket and some puffed kernels. I have a mission though, considering that you probably don’t have the gumption to do it by now, try Peirano Estate’s claim to a bright, but tantalizing version of that one white we may all come to love one day. It’s got cinnamon, golden apple, a little oak and enough pear to keep you from feeling like you had a nightmare in the city of Anjou. I enjoyed it without contempt for once, and it feels pretty good. it’s not brazen, and not limp, but you would be happy to know, it implies the particular balance only found, on average, within a 4,000-to-5,000 case production. Yikes! With a figure like that, it’s hard to estimate exactly why it costs so little. It’s also one of the prudent types, having enough vigor for summer and just the right amount of clout for wintertime pork roasts and stews consisting of white meat and legumes.  
I like a lot of white wine, but the problem is in most cases, is that I get a lot of Chard thrown at me, and it hurts. At this point, it’s worse than being hit by a Cab, and worse than me using puns to extract a point. At least I can be content about something that drinks well with a grilled bratwurst or any protein slathered in garlic sauce. I don’t mind having the most notorious white wine at my table, but I get a little nervous when It creeps up on me like an obsessed ex-girlfriend, or a para-militant. The grape can be managed, and it belies elegance every so often, but it seems to have been in a rut with those who want pure power instead of fine tailoring. I really can’t say if most people would gravitate to Chardonnay’s new theme in California, or basically, France’s eldest one, but the truth is in taste and sometimes, the harvest year. 
I guess, now would be a good time to plug Peirano’s 2011 vintage.           
Brian Maniotis
Wine Warehouse
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