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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Domaine Rollin VergelessesFrom time to time, even bargain-hunters need to splurge. When I do, it’s generally French: Bordeaux, Burgundy, or Sancerre dominate my list of mid-range to expensive buys, although I’ll toss in the occasional Barolo or high-end Riesling. The most recent mid-range find fit a rare profile for superior value in its price point: a really superior Burgundy for under $50. We’re talking Pinot Noir, people, something I love but don’t give enough attention. This bottle really grabbed my attention.

A little background on the appellation of origin, Pernand-Vergelesses. Located at the top of the Cote de Beaune, the L’Ile des Vergelesses is, as the winemaker puts it, “the jewel of the village of Pernand-Vergelesses.” It is famous for its elegance when young, with serious aging potential that allows for cellaring if you so desire. The soil in this area is similar to that of esteemed Corton, and harbors numerous vineyard plots of premier cru quality.

And what does such quality look like? Well, it looks really nice. In the glass, the 2006 Domaine Rollin Pernand Vergelesses 1er Cru Ile des Vergelesses is a pale cherry red, with great clarity. A truly Burgundian nose: aromas of red raspberry fruit, loamy earth, and a slight gamy hint of cured meats coalesce into that quintessential hallmark of Pinot Noir. More round red berries in the mouth, with exquisite balance; this is acidity and fruit as a subtle matrix, covered gently in a cloak of flowers. Or something. The final sip leaves your palate as bedazzled and full of longing as the first. This is a perfect answer to the question: “why Burgundy?” $45.

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Poggeto La Casaccia GrignolinoFrom time to time I like to go back to wines I’ve tried previously, especially house favorites. This Grignolino was absolutely a house favorite in 2009. It merits another write-up, especially for this fine vintage hitting my table three years after the initial encounter. And yeah, it’s still delicious. So here we have the 2011 La Casaccia “Poggeto” Grignolino. Grignolino is a grape varietal grown in Piedmont, Italy. Not always well-regarded in the past, considering its noble company in the region (Nebbiolo comes to mind), Grignolino has started to reach its potential as a cheery but surprisingly interesting table wine.

Pale cherry red in the glass, with bright, aromas of red berry fruit (particularly raspberry in this bottling) and a hint of white pepper. Seriously zingy after the first zip, with quenching acidity, perfectly balanced to flavors of mouth-watering fresh red berries. Notes of mineral just crackle through the fruit, and the finish is quenching and invites you to sip again. And again. $13, and still one of the best values in light-bodied reds. I just love Grignolino; if you haven’t tried it, get going! This wine is appetizer fair, and pairs well with olives and feta cheese, or some cured meats such as salami. It’s unusually low on tannin, so won’t compromise foods with a degree of tartness. Enjoy.