DO NOT ADJUST ANYTHING ON YOUR SCREEN, THIS LOOKS EXACTLY AS GOOD AS IT TASTES.
After having to head into work on a day I normally have free, I came home to what was easily the most delicious pork chop in the history of pork chops. My amazing, multi-talented girlfriend is a truly inspired cook who treats the dinner plate like Van Gogh once treated his canvases. Seared perfectly with the juices still flowing and served with spring onions & peas and a potato/turnip mash. Seriously, she is making it difficult for me to eat out anymore without thinking that we could have stayed home, eaten a much better meal, and saved some money better used to travel somewhere.
<—- THIS OR THIS? —->
When she told me what she was planning on cooking for dinner, and based on how excited she sounded when describing the ingredients for the dish, I knew I was going to have to bring home something special for Sunday dinner. So when I walked into the shop I made a bee-line to the Champagne section - because it is her happy place (as it is my happy place as well) - and low and behold I came across the truly delicious Jacques Laissagne ‘Les Vignes de Montgueux’, a Non-Vintage Blanc de Blancs Champagne from the town of Montgueux (located 60 miles south of Reims).
The importer Jenny & François Selections had this to say about the wine & the domaine on their website (I paraphrased a little bit here - hope they don’t mind):
"The vineyards boast prime southeastern exposure & consist primarily of Chardonnay vines (94%) & the rest is made up of Pinot Noir…The terroir in Montgueux shares the same limestone vain - otherwise mostly heavy clay here - to the growing sites found further north in le Mensil…The grapes are harvested by hand…at their maximum ripeness before being destemmed & gently pressed. The fruit undergoes complete malolactic fermentation & no sulfites are added to the blend. The wine is aged in new & old barrels for 12 to 24 months & held in bottle for 1 to 5 years until it is disgorged, corked & released.”
Like all great wine it is multi-dimensional in style. It brings together Roger Daltry-like power and attitude and yet retains a peaceful and focused precision a la Bill Evans. It’s both brooding and bright, mineral-toned and citrus-powered, and is ever expressive of place while gracefully stepping tall.
[DALTRY AND EVANS - MAKES FOR GREAT CHAMPAGNE]
Not to be out done by it’s neighbor to the north, the 2nd wine of the evening was practically bottled specifically for this meal as it paired beautifully with the master work of Pork Chop that was happening on my dinner plate. 'Les Vendangeurs Masque' 2009 by Alice et Olivier de Moor of Chablis.
If you are not familiar with the work going on by the Chablisienne couple Alice and Olivier de Moor, she grew up in the Jura and he in Chablis, please pack your palates, do not pass Go & do not take $200, and head straight to your nearest bottle of de Moor. Here you will find pure and pristine whites from Chardonnay and also Aligoté. The importer Louis/Dressner Selections had this to say about de Moor on their website:
“They began their estate by planting three plots of Chablis - Bel Air, Clardy and Rosette - in 1989. Of their first harvest, in 1994, they kept only 15HL…The de Moor have worked their vines organically since 2005, a rarity in their area…In 2007, they built a large and high-ceilinged winery, which allows them to do all their cellar work by gravity. In 2008, they purchased a second-hand pneumatic press, to treat the grapes in the gentlest way possible. There is no SO2 [aka Sulfites] used at harvest or during the vinification.”
[OLIVIER & ALICE: THEY EVEN LOOK LIKE THEY MAKE HAPPY WINE. FOR A NICE SNAPSHOT VIEW OF CHABLIS, CLICK HERE FOR NYTIMES ARTICLE]
This particular label that I am highlighting came at around $20 and was a steal considering how much wine was packed in that little 750ml bottle. The name translates to “the Vintagers Masks” and is so called for the reason that this wine is made not from their own vineyards but from leased vines of a nearby neighbor. Thus this négociant wine can come a pleasant price. Although this comes from the riper/less-acidic 2009 vintage (which most Burgundy lovers will tell you lacks the necessary acidity for the true acid-fueled Chablis expression to speak clearly - check out the 2008’s for those), I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed this wine as it was generous in flavor and character. Perhaps that is a nod to my personal plebeian taste when it comes enjoying simply joyous wine at home. And joyous it was indeed.
[NATURAL WINE IS LIKE 70’S PLAYBOY: WHEN WOMEN WEREN’T SILICON EXAGGERATIONS OF THEIR ORIGINAL FORM]