Sun 1 Nov 2009
We didn’t care much for the dish we had cooked for dinner — see comment below — but we loved the wine.
This was the Maçon-Villages Vieilles Vignes 2007, from Domaine Perraud, a pure and intense expression of the chardonnay grape. (The Maconnais is a narrow region south of Burgundy proper; “vieilles vignes” means “old vines.”) The wine, a radiant pale straw-gold color, offers roasted lemon and spiced pear in the bouquet, along with notes of mushroom-like earthiness and a hint of quince. Close to the most gratifying aspect of the wine is the lovely sense of tension and balance among bold, vibrant acidity; a resolute limestone/wet shale element; and a dense, chewy texture that enfolds the lemon-yellow plum-grapefruit flavors like a pillow. A few minutes in the glass bring up touches of jasmine and crystallized ginger, with a finishing tide of gravel-like minerals and more spice. Wonderful presence and verve. Excellent. Suggested retail price is $16.25; I paid $20 at a local store. The ’08 version of this wine is available, but the ’07, at two years old, is drinking perfectly now and will do so through 2010 or ’11. Worth a Search.
North Berkeley Imports, Berkeley, Cal.
The dish was Chicken Roulades with Mustard Sauce, from The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook (Free Press, $34.95). These are boneless chicken breasts, pounded flat, folded around chopped basil, rolled in a yogurt-mustard sauce and then breadcrumbs and baked in a 400-degree oven. Sounded good, but the result, we agreed, was like banquet food.