BEST $10 Muscadet from Garagiste and BEST Pinot Noir from the Bu

Land of Muscadet

Touting a Garagiste – aka “G.” – purchase is always dicey. Like nostalgia, praising a great G. buy only works in retrospect. Rimmerman’s selections almost always sell out so there is no going back and buying in. You have to be there when it all goes down. There are other pitfalls when mainlining G. which Dotoré will insist we mention [ed. and we have in an earlier G. post] such as Rimmerman’s twist on the “availability principle,” as in “it’s not a question of price but availability.” With G. you have to strike early and decisively since it is apparent G. buys “on the come.” When you check your warehouse chart you will find many “pre-arrival” notes next to the wine for which you so willingly even anxiously..yes thrillingly!!…pulled the trigger!

This may all seem a bit parochial to most readers. You see, at tBoW we are deep into Garagiste. The man remains the top wine writer we read. Signing on to get the email blasts is worth the risk of losing your $$ then losing your mind waiting for shipments. You will find yourself hitting the order button over and over – what’s a couple more 2007 Rhones? Then you check the warehouse continuously wondering when any of what you bought will arrive on your doorstep. However, his writing is worth the risk. The man is a marketing master who on occasion wanders into genius. And the wines are almost always winners. We cover a couple of his picks and a few others from the cellar.

2010 Selection des Cognettes Muscadet Sévre Et Maine Sur Lie $10: U20 wines do not get much better than this baby. Sur Lie means the wine was bottled directly from the original fermentation and aging and tank. The wine was never separated from the lees which is the residue from the initial winemaking process. It is a hallmark of the best Muscadet. This wine is as good as G.promised. Fresh lime and creamy flavors, wonderful balance, not too ripe but just ripe enough to keep you sucking it down. We had it with caviar followed by sauteed scallops and shrimp. And asparagus. The Muscadet paired with the entire meal. If you cannot find this one you will find another Muscadet. One of the most under-rated white wines that is also widely available. 12%

2009 Anne Gros Bourgogne $30: Last opened this bottle a year ago. It has since fleshed out a bit. The wines from Madame Gros often seem somewhat restrained. This entry level bottle also shows why we have learned to covet her bottlings. The color is like lipstick Gwyneth Paltrow would wear. The fruit is lush enough to keep us interested; i.e., we never get bored with the bottle. The wine is light weight, even ethereal. There is even a bit of soft tannins. It remains worth studying throughout the meal. Strong dark red color and still light weight. Not a G. wine but still hard to obtain. 13%

2007 Christopher Dundee Hills Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Cuvee Unfiltered
$30: Pinot from the “favored” region in the Willamette Valley, where the earliest “name wineries” like Tori Mor, Lange and Drouhin are located. These guys are less well known outside Oregon. Feral and forest-like nose and flavors. Think tree-tops that taste like Pinot Noir [ed. huh?]. Somewhat like Russian River Valley except more refined and leaner. Woodsy like Grizzly Adams. 13.5%

2010 Malibu Sanity Single vineyard California Pinot Noir
$35: The label says “created meticulously by Charles Schetter…reminiscent of fine French Burgundies.” The wine is very light colored which foretells a very delicately flavored wine. Charles Schetter continues to produce what is without a doubt the most exceptional Pinot Noir and quite possibly the most exceptional wine grown int eh soon-to-be Malibu Coast appellation. These are young vines grown at 600 feet on the coastal side of the Malibu mountain range overlooking the Pacific. There is no question Schetter is meticulous. What is amazing is that he has produced three consecutive vintages of very meritable [ed. we can make up our own words] Pinot Noir. Where other Bu Pinots are more substantial The Sanity wines are insistently delicate. The seashore is not present as we detected in the 2009. Will it show the candy flavors after a year? Right our of the bottle the wine is quite lovely. After four days unattended we returned to find the wine still vibrant. Some spiciness, even nutmeg as the label touts. He has kept the alcohol low for SoCal. Like the Anne Gros in many ways, Malibu Sanity remains on our radar. 14.2%

2008 Riseccoli Chianti Classico
$18: Spicy, mostly dense fruit. Does not taste like Sangiovese. But what do we know! The wine is 90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon. We thought is was a middle weight somewhat meaty red with flavors more like Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Another G. selection that will go very nicely with summer BBQs. 13.5%



  1. Where dost thou find Sur Lie? Like the description of the Bu Pinot… mmmmm need to try that!

    • Wavatar
      Bacchus says:

      Sur Lie is found right on the label my tall and imposing friend. Look for it. I have wine for you to taste. Could use a Large entry anytime soon.

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