Catherine et Pierre Breton 2004 Bourgueil Trinch!, $15
My first ever Trinch! and it lives up to the hype. Great nose of flowers, cherries and currants. On the palate, bright, pure cherry and currant fruit segues into a very herbal, minerally finish. This is a classic Loire food-friendly red, with good acidity, decent structure, relatively light body, but plenty of flavor. Excellent match with pesto. Two days later, the fruit seems even more vibrant with bright cherry fruit accented by nice minerals. Importer: Louis/Dressner.
I Feudi di Romans 2002 Cabernet Franc Isonzo del Friuli, $12
I didn’t have this at the same time as the Trinch! though a side-by-side comparison of different takes on Cabernet Franc would have been interesting. At any rate, this shows clear varietal character, starting out with a terrific nose of dusty herbs, earth, cherry, flowers and minerals. The palate follows with nice cherry fruit accented by lots of herbal notes, some dusty earth and minerals. A strong bitter almond note appears on the finish, not unlike a Dolcetto, which strikes me as the one element that stamps this as Italian. Without it, I suspect in a blind tasting I would peg this as a Loire. It has good acidity, some grainy tannins, and also goes great with pesto. Importer: The Country Vintner, Oilville, Va.
Clos Roche Blanche 2002 Touraine Gamay, $12
The nose starts out on the beety side, with some strawberry/raspberry and mineral tones. On the palate, there is nice, bright strawberry/raspberry, less beetiness than on the nose, with great minerality toward the finish. Very smooth, nice acidity, really comes alive with food. Very fine match with a teriyaki-style stir-fry. Importer: Louis/Dressner.
Thierry Puzelat 2002 Touraine Pinot Noir La Tesnière, $18
The first bottle, which I had a over year ago, smelled and tasted like Gamay, not Pinot Noir. This time, however, the nose is much more like PN, with lots of roses, cinnamon and earth along with strawberry and cherry. The palate follows, more Pinot-like again, with strawberry, cherry, earth and cinnamon. Light bodied but very smooth with very bright acidity. Excellent match with quiche. The next day, it’s similar with an added touch of smoke, fewer high-toned elements, and more prominent PN aromas and flavors. Importer: Louis/Dressner.