Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wine Review: 2008 Javillier Aloxe-Corton

In the summer of 2010 Mrs. Gilbert and I had the pleasure of taking a trip to France.  Being huge lovers of Pinot Noir, one of the wine regions that we visited was Bourgogne, or Burgundy, as we Anglophiles call it.   We rented a vacation home right outside the town of Beaune, which is in the heart of, and is practically the capital of the Cote D'or.  This is a world-famous region for the production of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and the best and rarest wines from the vineyards there command stratospheric prices.   Rather than go into a long lecture about the winemaking history and methods of this region, I'll cut to the chase and tell you that we positively fell in love with the wines from this region of France, and in particular the wines from a little village called Aloxe-Corton. 

The Hill of Corton

It was to our great dismay however, that we found upon our return to the US that these wines are difficult to find, and when I can locate them, command healthy prices.  So it is a thing of slightly painful joy when I do come across them on the shelf.  But I shell out, and into the cellar they go, to await a special occasion to be drank.   Thanksgiving dinner was such an occasion, so I selected one of the three Aloxe-Cortons in my cellar, and the most mature, to be consumed with the feast Mrs. Gilbert so wonderfully prepared. 

I selected a 2008 produced by Patrick Javillier, a winemaker more known for his Mersaults than his reds, but who does release a few different Bourgognes Rouge.

The first thing one notices is that the wine is very light in coloration, and pours a pale garnet in the glass, but has brilliant clarity.  A faint perfume of red fruit arises from the glass, along with notes of roasting nuts and earthy spice.  It has a light + body, but searing acidity.  Upon my first sip I wondered if I had blundered, and opened this far too young.  Pinot Noir is not generally something I think of as being suitable for extended aging, and figured that a 2008 would be ready.  I think this wine might have benefited from another two or three years in the bottle, to let the acids subdue and to let the other flavors come more to the forefront. 

As the wine opened more in the glass, the acidity did seem to mellow a bit, but flavors of cranberry and cold iron dominated, with a hint of toasted walnut tannin on the finish.  The wine was still very elegant, fantastic even, but lacked the finesse and balance that I had hoped for.  Definitely a soprano wine, and no tenors in the chorus to even things out. 

It went rather well with our meal; it complimented the citrus glazed duckling with its brightness, provided a foil to the creamy scalloped potatoes, and had a soul mate in the cranberry compote. 

I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving as well, and that you have had a nice breather before all the Holiday insanity REALLY gets underway.  

No comments:

Post a Comment