Tuesday, January 8, 2013

if you're looking for simple drinkability...

2009 Domaine Arnoux Père & Fils Les Pimentiers | AC Savigny-Lès-Beaune
2008 Villa Symposia l'Equilibre | AC Languedoc | Midi
L: 2009 Santa Carolina Reserva De Familia Carmenère | Rapel Valley | Chile
R: 2009 Terra Noble Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon | Colchagua Valley | Chile

The holidays are a collection of dinners and commitments - some attended to gladly, and others, well, maybe not so much. The night never seems long enough when you're with people you actually like. So what happens when you're stuck with the other type? I reach for the bottle to keep me occupied, but really, when most people serve wine, it should be prefaced as "wine".

We're just looking for something simple and pure and that most useful of descriptors, drinkable. But why is it so damn hard to find? Maybe we're asking for too much - we want varietal character, vintage personality, balance, and structure in our wines, among other things. If we're just searching for drinkability though, we need to shut down that part of our brain. No, all four of these wines are simple, fruit-forward wines that don't necessarily offer a lot of excitement, but don't require much from the drinker either. A village Burgundy, one from the south of France, and a pair from Chile - all good on the dinner table, good for a buzz, good for the nights when the bottle is your best friend. 

*Side note: The two Chileans were both suffering from reduction upon the cork-draw. After a few hours of decanting, the Santa Carolina cleared up, showing jammy, if nondescript fruit. The Terra Noble though, stayed sulfur-heavy, that rubbery, muted aroma. Not pleasant, but by the third day, enough sweet fruit comes up that I get the appeal. Maybe a coincidence, but the first time I've come across two wines from the same region and vintage, suffering from the same winemaking fault. Both bottled under cork.


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