Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wurst und Cheverny

Though I miss it already, it's amazing how much more time I have in the evenings now that the Tour has ended. Take last night. Cooked an impromptu dinner. Bockwurst from Birchrun Hills Farm — mild, delicately seasoned but deeply flavorful white sausages made from Birchrun's own veal and pork. Simmered 'em in Victory Prima Pils. Meanwhile, I crescent-sliced and sautéed a red onion 'til it softened, then threw in a coarsely chopped head of loose-leaf radicchio. Braised them both in a little more of the beer, tossed in a pinch of salt and a generous sprinkling of fresh ground black pepper, then added a dollop of German-style mustard.

The end result? Moist, juicy, tender sausages offset by a slightly sweet, slightly bitter, very flavorful onion and radicchio hash.

Dry German or Austrian Riesling, of course, would have been natural. But I had something waiting in the fridge. Something that'd been biding its time there, beckoning me since a hot night last week when I succumbed to the motif rather than the gut calling and drank classified-growth Bordeaux instead.

Cheverny "Frileuse," Clos du Tue-Boeuf 2007
$15. 12.5% alcohol. Cork. Importer: Louis/Dressner, New York, NY.
When last I tasted this, it was at The Ten Bells, poured by Thierry Puzelat himself, at a L/D Loir et Cher tasting event. Back then, right around Halloween I believe it was, the wine was tight as a drum, nervy as all hell, and needed a ton of air to show its stuff. Thierry had carafed it, mentioning straight up that it needed the decant to throw off its "burnt rubber" aromas, its reduction.

There's none of that now. Instead, the wine's wide open, very forward and ever so slightly volatile on the nose. The nose suggests citrus and cream. Not at all cheesy. Just a little tangy and sweet, like an icy orange creamsicle. Take that and lace it with intense, broad minerality and the faintest onset of oxidative character. Then you'll have an idea of what I found in my glass last night.

Hard to resist. And damn, damn tasty with those Bockwurst.

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