Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Triple Zero at Last

Ever since first reading about Jacky Blot's "Triple Zéro" via Jim's Loire about two years back, I've been wanting to try it — well, really, to drink it. As I kept reading over the ensuing months (then years), it started to dawn on me that the reason I'd never had that chance is that Jim was keeping it all to himself. More recently it became clear that a little bit of "Triple Zero" did indeed escape the grasp of Mr. Budd, at least enough for some to make its way across the pond. I began to hear of sightings here and there around the vinoblogosphere. Yet still, nary a glance had I of a bottle, much less of a glass, full in hand.

Finally, I figured it out. It's all being slurped up by the staff and regulars at Bar Boulud. I stopped in yesterday afternoon, looking for a cool respite from the city heat with a little time to kill before meeting a friend. Frankly, I had a glass of water, a sit down and maybe an icy cold beer in mind. But as soon as I spotted a lineup of Triple Zero bottles behind the communal bar/table, my mind was changed. "Are you pouring that by the glass?" "Yep," came the response. Said glass was in hand before I ever got around to perusing the rest of the by-the-glass offerings (a quite well rounded list, I might add). It turns out that Triple Zero not only headlines the glass pour list at Bar Boulud, it also serves as the base for one of the bar's signature cocktails. No wonder it's evaded me all this time....

Montlouis-sur-Loire Pétillant "Triple Zéro," Domaine de la Taille aux Loups (Jacky Blot) NV
12.5% alcohol. Cork. Importer: VOS Selections, New York, NY.
It's been said enough times before but it still bears repeating: "Triple Zéro" takes its name from the fact that its method of production involves neither chaptalization, tirage nor dosage. Instead, Jacky Blot simply harvests only ripe, healthy and pristine Chenin Blanc from his vineyards in Montlouis when the fruit on the vine has reached a potential alcohol of 12-12.5% alcohol. After about three months of barrel fermentation, Blot then bottles the wine with about 14-15 grams of remaining residual sugar. Fermentation then completes in the bottle.

The result, after disgorgement, cork finishing and a little more age, is a wine that displays its pétillance much more clearly to the mouth than to the eye. Triple Zéro has a richness that belies its non-sugared nature, a testament to the quality of Blot's fruit and the skill exercised in his production method. Those facets are re-emphasized by the wine's vinosity and its very Chenin-ness, which both come through in spades. There's an enticing dash of funk on the nose, sitting quite comfortably alongside prettier aromas of lavender, peach blossom and quince. And as rich as it feels up front, the wine finishes bone dry, laden with minerality and palate cleansing acidity. Just the refresher that was needed after a long, hot day traversing New York sidewalks and subways.


TWG said...

I missed this at a recent brunch. word verif: Perrier

David McDuff said...

Hey Tom,
So how was brunch? What did you drink? And ain't it strange how often the word verification seems to hold some latent meaning?

TWG said...

brunch was good, had a glass of 2009 Keller and something else I liked. word verif: lamenti, but I had no laments.

The Wine Mule said...

I was lucky enough to gulp some of this down about a year ago in the Perigord. My hastily scribbled note says "aromas and flavors of green apple, toast, and a kind of very, very dry chocolate note." And, just as you describe, it was absolutely bone-dry on the finish.

Does anybody have a translation of "Domaine de La Taille Aux Loups"?

TWG said...

Area of La Taille À des Loups

David McDuff said...

@Dave/Mule - Apologies for the delayed response. The literal translation is something along the lines of "area of wolves" or "size of wolves," neither of which make much in the way of sense. I'm on the hunt for a more colloquial interpretation and will let you know what I find.

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