Unable to attend the trade’s portfolio tasting on Monday, I swung by Astor Center on Saturday, with David and Ellen, to taste a few new releases from Jenny & François Selections. And though there were a number of wines with light acidity thrown into the mix, I give Jenny & François great credit–for two of my most favorite producers on that day were from California, and I cannot remember the last time I left a tasting (other than their 2010 fall portfolio event) screaming the praises of wines from the West Coast.
Pictured above–Chardonnay (2009) and Trinity (2008), a 25% C.S./75% merlot blend from Hardesty in Willow Creek (Humboldt County). Made from organically grown grapes, and both funky, these wines are produced by Chad Hardesty, who apprenticed with Tony Coturri (see below) (that explains it!). The Chardonnay has knife-like acidity that pierces through nutty oxidized flavors, with minerality that demonstrates a slight spritz, says Chad, as it “dances on the tongue.”
Trinity is smoky and creamy, like gouda, with a palate that shocks with zest.
Last time Jenny & François presented their portfolio around town, I focused solely on Coturri, a winery of natural sorts in Sonoma. One sip of this Pinot Noir (2002), aged for three years in barrel, and you’ll know why! Within one and a half hours, the supply of this Pinot at Astor Wines (for $21.99!!!) had sold out. Thankfully more arrived within a few days and I got my hands on a half case.
This wine drinks like a Jura red, with notes of blood orange earth funk and searing acidity–a sing song integration. Not a Pinot for Californians, suggests Tony Coturri, because it’s not what they’d expect. But for New Yorkers? It’s a contemplative wine with conversation for every sip.
From Loire comes Cousin-Leduc, with their biodynamic wines that set our delights afire.
2008 Gamay–Smoky cherry with aromas of fresh sweat and floral ginger spice, and an awesome acidity that lends austerity to the finish.
NV Grolleau “Le Cousin”--Minerally on the nose with a silky chalk texture, there’s red fruit, barnyard, and anise.
2006 Anjou “Pur Breton”--100% Cabernet Franc. Cloudy ruby in color with acidity like a pressed tin ceiling,”Pur Breton” is slightly stinky with a forest herbaceousness.