Sturm und Drang

Aroma is a highly personal connection to survival and the sublime and for all our accumulated caveman experience, we all have a different series of buttons, hotspots, things that make us tickle and giggle and blush. When I encounter the aroma of great white burgundy the reaction is nigh unto immediate, the cheeks flush and blush, my grip on the glass eases and each sip is slower and slower. I luxuriate in the wines textures, tossing them like silk sheets around my mouth, then swallow and breathe and I am awash in aromas of skin and spring and freesia and jasmine and fresh warm sheets on the line.

Louis Latour Pouilly Fuisse

For all the Sturm und Drang that populates Utah’s wintry spring, said Sturming and Dranging does serve a useful purpose, agitating the palate and soul, bumping the whole mess from sleepy torpor toward lighter, brighter and livelier pastures. And nowhere does that alarm ring more clearly than in the wines of Burgundy, specifically its southern swing of the Cote Chalonnaise and the Maconnais.
While my soft spot for all things Burgundian is well known, I cannot often afford its more profound expressions. If I could drink Corton Charlemagne every day I would, but like any junkie needing my angry fix, I can tide myself over on cheaper highs and there are three options at the ready that will take residence in my fridge during the coming months of planting and soil and warming sun. This is chardonnay at its expressive finest (and most reasonably priced. Yes reasonable. Were you to price similarly produced ~ low yield, extended lees contact, French Oak finishing ~ Chardonnays from elsewhere around the world, the price would be vastly greater).

Maison Louis Latour St Veran les Deux Moulin

With all that said, it is spring, therefor this month I celebrate the wines of Maison Louis Latour, beginning with the ubiquitous Pouilly Fuisse 2009 / UDABC Code 962974 ~ $21.99. Vintages are usually to be taken with a grain of salt; great winemakers always make something dependable with what Mother Nature gives them from year to year. The 2009 however is something special. It is a massive, concentrated luxurious beast that shows the presence of something much more expensive, think of one of its more expensive northern cousins like Chassagne. It shows trademark aromas of talc, lime, fennel and jasmine that develop and develop with length and precision as they impose a fresh intensity on the palate.

Maison Louis Latour Montagny La Grande Roche

Another long time favorite is the appellation of St Veran “Les Deux Moulin” / UDABC CODE 915661 ~ $15.99. St Veran sits just below Pouilly on the hill, and is often referred to as Poor Man’s Pouilly. While it does not share the precision and intensity of the Pouilly, it does show wonderful softness that many fans of the bigger blousier California renditions will find appealing and it does share all those marvelous aromatics and ripe lengthy flavors.

Also not to be missed is “the Big Rock”. Latour’s Montagny “La Grande Roche“ / UDABC Code 917092 ~ $19.99 is yet another stunner that punches way out its weight class. Situated in the hills of the Cote Chalonnaise (just north of the Maconnais) its hillside exposure and limestone bedrock endow it with a length power and concentration on the palate. It is a silky and loaded and perfumey wine with scents of mint and jasmine and lemon curd, framed by wonderfully bright acidity.

Cheers ~



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