Louis/Dressner tasting at Woodland Hills Wine Co

tasting bar1.jpgBravissimo to Paul and Kyle Smith and the WHWCo crew for putting on one of the best breadth tastings we have attended in many years. The tasting featured the wine selections from Louis/Dressner. Mr. Dressner was there and he confidently assured us the new catalogue has expanded considerably since tBoW included him in our Best of Wine Importers group last year, mostly on the strength of the 2005 Clos de la Roillette which was our favorite Beaujolais in 2007 and a Dressner selection. tBoW faked the rest by cruising the very helpful Dressner website. This guy loves what he is doing which is very good for us. The only issue with Dressner selections is they can be hard to find. Enter Farm Wine Imports, the new distribution company for Louis/Dressner tasked with making sure the days of hunting down Dressner Selections wines are a faint memory. You do want to keep a lookout for these very well priced and made wines. Dressner is as opinionated as anyone in his field [ed. tBoW is being sarcastic having conversed with Neal Rosenthal among others] unusual and thank god for that. His opinions are lively and uncompromising about what represents a wine he would like to share with his customers.
Dressner has assembled a traveling road show of winemakers who were all in attendance at tBoW’s local wine hang, WHWCo. Think about it. Wines from twelve estates were poured by winemakers whose first language is French or Italian. They are stopping in San Francisco and New York so stay alert for when they come to your premium wine shop. Tour info is posted at the Louis/Dressner website.
All the wines were very good to excellent. Not a dog in this show. We did find wines we had to have. Without taking anything away from any of the wineries presented, here are the tasting notes for those we found to be the most compelling. Many are described on the Louis/Dressner website.
luneau-papin-gros-plant.jpg2007 Luneau-Papin Pierre de la Grange Muscadet $14-$18: Muscadet grown in the Loire is known as “melon du bourgogne”. Almost clear of color, like light itself. Very nicely balanced, delicate, pleasing wine. Perfect oyster wine that is “light on its feet”. The Wine Doctor provides a complete profile of this house. 12%FRV100.jpg
NV Terres Dorées FRV100
$15-$19: Worst label you ever saw. Buy a case. Dotor√© predicts this wine will be the hit of the summer! Pink and sparkling Gamay. What a great idea. With the low alcohol it will compete wonderfully with Moscato d’Asti. Strawberry supreme. And cree-mee. 7.5%
Desvignes2006CoteduPy225.jpg2006 Domaine Louis-Claude Desvignes Morgon Cote-de-Py $21-$26: Big and beefy Gamay from Beaujolais. The 2006 vintage is known for its superb fruit and added stuffing. This one has the muscle too. The brother and sister winemaking team, Louis and Claude, poured. 6,000 cases total including the next wine. A very civilized 13%

2006 Domaine Louis-Claude Desvignes Morgon Javernieres
$22-$27: A bit more feminine and elegant. Lighter weight. Delicate. Excellent. tBoW’s preferred style. 13%
Franck Peillot rousette du Bugey 2007.jpg2007 Franck Peillot Altesse de Montagnieu Rousette du Bugey $20-$25: Another new grape (Altesse) for tBoW. Ain’t it great to go to a wine tasting and try new wines? Tapioca in the nose. Full flavors, middle weight wine. Lush. No tannins. A winner. Here is another terrific blog that goes into more detail about the grape and this bottle. 12.5%
2006 Domaine Marechal Bourgogne Cuvee Gravel $24-$29: Entry level Pinot Noir from Burgundy. The whole reminded me of Dave Dascomb and East Valley Vineyarddavid russell.jpg in Santa Ynez. Local guy making straightforward wines at very good prices. I prefer this Cuvee to other Bourgognes I have tasted recently. Smoky nose, sweet flavors. Beautiful. A bit of gamey flavors in the middle palate. Mssr. Marechal spoke little English and tBoW even less French so WHWCo staff David Russell intervened. Marechal makes 2000 cases of this bottle. He tends 30 hectares, some owned some leased, mostly near Pommard. So there is your pedigree and your selection. Isn’t it cool Dressner finds under-publicized vignerons from Burgundy? We think so. 13%
francesca padovani.jpg2005 Azienda Agricola Montesecondo Rosso del Rospo $22-$28: Bella Signorini Francesca Padovani poured. Her twin sister Margerita stayed back with their vineyards in Tuscany. The sisters think nothing of clearing land, planting vinifera and making wine. Together. montesecondo2004.jpgThen they make the traditional wine their way risking DOCG status because they followed their own rules more than the DOCG. [ed. they used the obligatory Sangiovese but only two of the other dozen Ital varietals that comprise Chianti]. But then, who could tell them no? She poured a Sangiovese along with this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, both form the estate. This was remarkable wine, tannic and rich. A wine that begs for steak. It will keep a long time. Ripe and powerful without being overwhelming. 14%
occhipintifrap2005.jpg2006 Occhipinti Frapatto $33-$42: My notes say “if there is one bottle of wine I have to have…” This is it but you got to love the funk. The nose is sweaty, funky, off-putting to some but not to the Epoises/Tallegio crowd. Then you taste. Delicate, balanced, sweet. arianna occhtini.jpgTake a look at the winemaker Arriana Occhipinti [ed. oaky peen-tee] which means “painted eyes”. Strong features with soulful eyes. 4,000 cases made in Sicily. I was surprised at the number of bloggers reporting similar moonstruck impression. This is a wine to toss in front of the King (visiting this summer, odd years on his calendar). “Oh Mouse, have you tasted many Frapatto wines? From Sicily you know.” [ed. he’ll know alright] She also makes a Nero d’Avola which Dotor√© acquired. Cool. 12.5%

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