Yesterday, the aptly named Funky Wine Imports, hosted a blind tasting. We knew there were some of Funky's products but mostly it was stuff not represented by them (yet?). It was an outstandingly fun evening.
First up was a blind fizz, René Geoffroy's Volupté, ( label )officially NV but entirely from 2005 (I never did understand why it has to be officially NV, then). Lovely scent: very ripe but with minerality and lemon curd and some elegant bread. A bit more sweetness on the finish than I would ideally have, but it is otherwise a nice combination of precision and richness.
Then we had two blind whites. The first was a new vintage of an old favourite, Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais Chardonnay Classic 2009 ( label ) which was its lovely usual self: white flowers and lemon on the scent, but with more ripeness than usual. Rich (or more so than usual), but focused and well structured. Delightful.
The Muhr-van der Niepoort Prellenkirchen 2008 ( label ) is a strange wine, 10% Riesling and 90% Grüner Veltliner, and Dirk van der Niepoort is somehow involved. It's a strange blend, but it works. I guessed it was Chenin, however, since it had a delightfully woolly aroma mixed with strong minerality and spice. Delineated and crisp. Pure despite being such a blend.
The "bojo" lineup
Of course the first wine in the "Bojo" lineup was the ringer intended to throw us off. It was David Poutays "de l'Ombre à la Lumière" VdT Francais Rouge, ( label ), actually a 2005 Bordeaux (though I can't remember where in that large area this was made), but made in the rather extreme end of the natural wine spectrum (think Cornelissen but 50-50 blend of Cab Sauv and Merlot). Murky, un-clear colour, but lovely scent: wet earth and ripe dark fruit. It seems old and, indeed, falls apart in the glass after an hour or so. But it was a lovely, elegant wine for that hour and very mainstream despite frightening colour and the extreme "natural" winemaking behind it.
Next up was a pretty standard Bojo, the J-M Burgaud Morgon Côte du Py 2008 ( label ), which was gravelly and masculine style with mineral, almost metallic, aromas. Perhaps a bit tight still, but lovely and pure, quite tannic in comparison to the other great CdPs I've had.
Naudin-Ferrand's Omayga Bourgogne Passetoutgrains 2008 ( label ) was a fun wine but with aromatics that were hard to pin down to any style I have experience with. Loamy but with bright, sexy fruit aromatics; deliciously drinkable, frightfully moreish and just pure fun.
Up next was an old favourite of mine, the J-P Brun Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2008 ( label ) which had a scent of extreme purity, so much so that some will doubtless find it boring as a one note wonder. And I am sure others will be put off by the typically Brunian structure with plenty of tannins and lack of plush fruit. But I love its stark and elegant style. It is also extremely moreish.
PUR (Production Unique Rebelle) Beaujolais Nouveau 2010 ( label ) I wrote about recently in another thread, but suffice it to say that this Cyril Alonzo wine is outstanding. And not only within the paradigm of nouveau. Almost Cornelissen type aromas with bright red fruit, some "volcanic" funk; racy and juicy and lovely.
Last in this flight was a strangely disappointing bottle of J-P Brun Beaujolais l'Ancien 2008 ( label ) which seemed dark in fruit, unaromatic, boring and lacking in liveliness compared to the others. We weren't convinced it was a correct bottle even though we couldn't find an obvious flaw.
The Bordeaux flight
Ch. Vieux Pourret 2000 ( label ) was a lovely St.-Emilion. It had such brightness in the scent, such cherry and sandalwood aromas, that I was convinced I was sniffing a Sangiovese! Much un-vulgar fruit on the palate, lovely acidity despite such warm-year fruit. Awesome.
This property is doing much to restore my faith in this region, especially as the Vieux Pourret 2003, a vintage I have with just one or two exceptions, disliked very much, was almost awesome. It was of course more ripe and had a darker fruit profile, but it was refreshing and moreish, had enough acidity and had no signs of over-ripeness.
Vieux Pourret 2004 was also a success, but strangely for this property, had a tiny bit of oak showing (IIRC, about a third of the wine sees oak that isn't yet completely neutral, but in other years, I didn't notice any oak aromas). But otherwise it was lovely: also a darker fruit profile but with some pretty serious crunch on the palate. These all seem like real "Claret" in that they are so elegant and drinkable and so wonderfully moreish.
Vieux Pourret 2001 was corked, which is a serious shame as I have generally enjoyed 2001s.
Ch. Tire Pé Les Malbecs 2008 ( label ) is a 100% Malbec made in Bordeaux and IIRC makes wine in the Cornelissen-spectrum of naturalness. And it really smells much like Cornelissen's Etnas except this is really dark and meaty, dense and sweet, powerful yet, oddly enough, refreshing, lively and moreish. I liked it, but it wasn't well received around the table.
Ch. Vieux Pourret 2002 was perhaps the most "classic" Bordeaux of the flight. It reads like the stereotype of the area: pencil shavings/lead, blackcurrant leaves, etc. etc. except it doesn't have obvious oak aromas. Lovely and dangerously moreish.
I wish more easily available Bordeaux were like this.
Perhaps the greatest delight of these many delights was the blind (of course) sweetie at the end: Ch. Rousset Peyraguey Cuvée l'Alethéia 2007 ( label ) from Barsac. It smells like a copper kettle and tastes like honey. Except that unlike honey, this is refreshing and moreish despite 200g/l RS. This belongs to the fuck me this is good -category of wines, though there is some really strange gimmick with sulphites imported from some specific Indonesian volcano or some story like that as to why the sulfites here are acceptably added even though this is natural wine. I didn't quite catch the story since I was: a) rather inebriated by this point, b) concentrating hard on this lovely liquid, and c) the story seemed like pure bull, using any method possible to make a stable wine that will still be called "natural". And I don't care for any such philosophies - I like these wines not for the lunatic ideology behind the wines, but simply for what they taste like. And this Funky event showed that at their best, natural wines are some of the most interesting and invigorating drinks around.