Winery: Domaine Andre et Michel Quenard
Bottling: 2007 Chignin Mondeuse Vieilles Vignes
Importer: Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants
Estimated Retail Price: $15
Purchase Details & Tasting Source: Ordered by the glass at Vino Italian Tapas & Wine Bar, during standard Friday night diner with the fam.
Tasting Notes: The first time I ever heard of this grape varietal was at the esteemed Zuni Cafe in San Francisco. It was one of the few occasions that I asked a server to recommend a wine on the menu and I’m glad they did. There was something Beaujolais-esque and Chinon-esque about the drink ability of the wine and I liked it.
You have to brace yourself, if you’re not used to smelling game or gym socks wafting from a glass, because the barnyard aromas were present and in full force here. Personally I find this quality charming in a wine.
On the palate the flavors did not echo the aromas, thank god, except for a slight gaminess, but the wine was effortlessly light and had a nice flow from beginning to end.
Firm, but friendly tannins and a wild and rustic grapiness lent a gulpable quality to the wine. The wine is unusually light in the mouth, but you wouldn’t think so by looks of the inky color in the glass or experiencing the impact of flavors you get when the wine is swishing around in your mouth.
The grapes come from a super steep, alpine, high altitude (6000 ft.) vineyard, sparse in nutrients, which helps explain the flavor and impact in the wine.
Food Pairing and Context in Which to Enjoy: This comes across as a bistro wine, meant to be drunk young with simple, hearty, flavorful fare. Cheese, cured meats, stews, roasted chicken, sausages – the list goes on.
Winery Background: I had the hardest time finding any information on this winery. Again, all I know is that the vineyards are located in an alpine like environment, on steep, high and rocky soil. The wine is imported by Kermit Lynch, which if you’re starting to become familiar with his portfolio, carries producers who farm organically and make wine the most natural way possible.