Sunday, May 8, 2011

Wines I'm Drinking: 2007 Louis Latour Viré-Clessé

The label on this one had me a bit puzzled. Mâcon-Viré I knew and Mâcon-Clessé I knew, but Viré-Clessé? It seems I'm a bit behind the times. I see that what were once Mâcon-Villages bottlings from the villages of Viré or Clessé have since 1999 been subsumed into a larger AOC called Viré-Clessé, which can include wine from grapes grown in those villages as well as two other former Mâcon-Villages villages--Laizé and Montbellet. Still, it seems to me I've seen Mâcon-Viré and other village wines from this area more recently than 1999....

In any case, this is a Mâconnais wine (made from Chardonnay--about the only grape variety planted here) from Louis Latour. It seemed worth a try, and it was quite satisfying, offering up precisely what a good village wine from this area should: The wine was dry, crisp, light but flavorful and with a good balance between fresh acidity and a slightly buttery richness. A pretty, pale gold in the glass, the wine had attractive scents of melon and butter and just a suggestion of passion fruit. There was another scent that I couldn't quite pin down--raw zucchini perhaps? With a little time in the glass, there was also something suggestive of oranges. On the palate, the wine seemed quite dry at first--a bit austere even--with an interesting hint of astringency and bitterness that was nicely offset on the mid-palate by a rush of fruity sweetness and a richness that somehow suggested pastry to me. Good length and with a fairly nuanced finish that was marked by a back and forth between the buttery elements and the acidity. Not profound or especially complex, but solid wine for everyday drinking or better. Likely to be very pleasing well chilled, dining outdoors on a summer evening. Reasonably priced at $9.99 at Trader Joe's. The sort of wine I'm likely to buy again.

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