Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Malbec on the Loire

In these times of the wine boom, something surprising comes along every day.

The other week, I blogged about a Roagna white wine that used the red Nebbiolo grape. I bought that bottle at Chambers Street Wines. At the same shop, I bought a bottle of Malbec. Not from Argentina, but from France. And not from Cahor, where one would expect to find this earthy grape in France, but from the Loire Valley!

The wine is called Pepiere Cot Pepie 2006, and it's got an asinine label sporting a drunken cartoon chicken which makes you think at first glance that you're looking at one of those worthless swills that come out of Australia. But it's a quality bottle, made by revered Muscadet winemaker Marc Ollivier. Here, he's playing around with a red grape most folks don't play around with, and the result is unlike any other malbec I've had. It's not overpowering, rustic and meaty. It's medium-bodied, with understated stewed dark fruits. The palate has an overall dustiness which is very appealing, and it's fine for summer drinking, weighing in at only 12% alcohol.

The Chambers guy was proud to say that he thought he had the only cases of this to be found in the U.S. If he still has some left, go get yourself some.

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