Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Ca c'est bon

It was while trying to get some sleep in the deathly dry air-conditioned nightmare that was my Angers hotel room that I had a realisation.

I'd been trying to get a handle on how to explain the brinksmanship that that many of the more out there natural wines seem to pull of in their aromatics. Being simultaneously wrong and slightly unpleasant but also very moreish and right.

I'd recently been drinking Donati Camillo 2010 Lambrusco frizzante and had been at a loss as to what to write as a tasting note, other than that it'd been thrillingly interesting and very enlivening as a pre dinner drink.

I was reminded of an aromatic compound called Indole, at very low concentrations it smells floral, at higher concentrations it smells fecal. From shit to roses in only an extra 10 times dilution. It occurred to me that it may well just be lots of very low levels of problematic compounds. That the background tang of slightly pissy vinegariness that seemed to stalk the edge of my flavour perception, may well have been just that. There was certainly a not unsubstantial level of volatile acids. But yet, I really enjoyed the wine. Had my perception threshold of various volatile acids been so pummelled into submission that I just didn't notice/care any longer.

Anyway I was reminded of this yesterday evening as I was enjoying a glass go Laurent Lebled's Touraine Gamay 2011 Ca c'est bon. It had that lovely background tang of refreshing vinegariness that I know I'm not supposed to like, but dammit I'm quite happy with a decent robust vinaigrette on my salad, and the Roman empire pretty much thrived on Posca (a vinegar/water drink). So maybe it's not that odd that I find this extra tang, along with the decent acidity, crunchy tannins and verging on stalky herbaceous red fruit an appealing sort of drink.

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