Only some of the wines that I’ve socked away over the years are held under temperature control. Nothing too fancy – just 1 decent 30 bottle fridge, and one that holds 60. The most valuable (not necessarily the most monetarily valuable) bottles reside there, and they’re both (over)full.
But as everyone one who keeps wine knows, one’s desire and ability to acquire wine very often outstrips one’s ability to properly store it. I’ll cop to it. So, to avoid loss as a result of temperature fluctuation I’m always trying to minimize if not eliminate any possible damage or loss by actually drinking the bottles that are actually ready to drink. This may be inconceivable to some of the bona fide pack rat winos out there, but actually drinking the wine is the point of having the wine in the first place, no?
For this dinner, I worked from the wine to the food. The wine I tapped was my last bottle of 2002 Chateau Fuisse` (Vincent)Pouilly Fuisse “Le Clos”. Arguments will always bubble up, but some will definitely argue that this is the best white Macon going. I couldn’t really say, but some will and do…So thinking about the ripe and generous nature of Macons in general, I decided to whip up a half-assed salmon mousse (with dill and chives) spread on baguette toasts, and a plate of the pseudo-French, but nonetheless tasty Chicken Cordon Bleu (made with a nice Raclette I found – I usually go with Guryere, but this worked as well if not better) and a side of boiled and sauteed kale (which is now in its warm-weather season BTW).
So back to the bottle. As can be gleaned from the wine’s name, the source of the fruit for this wine is a very old walled vineyard adjoining the southern Burgundy town’s castle. The soil within these walls is a very particular dense clay and the vines diggin’ the plot are the more aromatic “musque`” clone of Chardonnay. The wine is aged for nine months in used barriques…and so to the tasting notes:
Chateau Fuisse` Pouilly Fuisse` “Le Clos” 2002
Very bright yet intense greenish golden color. The nose is an emphatic presentation of lime zest, fresh and dried white flowers, kiwi fruit, and vanilla custard. The mouthfeel is hefty and ripe, but still balanced and cohesive with well-developed flavors of yellow fruits, fine, unobtrusive oak, and candied fennel. The finish is bold and quite persistent but still fresh and clean.
WARNING – STRONG OPINIONS AHEAD! If FAT Chardonnays are your thing, why anyone would choose 90% of the bubblegum/marshmallow/oak syrup Chardonnays from California over this little gem is really beyond me. This wine will score you all of the richness that wines from the Golden State have to offer with a real sense of “close your eyes and you can almost be there” place that very few Cali Chards ever display – not that they couldn’t, just that they don’t…If you like big whites and don’t know much about Macon wines, get thee to a wine merchant!