05 Les Jamelles, Vin de Pays d'Oc L'Etang-Vergy Pinot Noir
Wildly ripe and acidic to the point of acetic, this is a confused, confusing take on pinot noir--an "I'll be damned if you tell me how to grow my grapes" wine, where "terroir" takes a backseat to "whatever the hell we could do." Boisterous. Spicy. Loud. Frappant (only for its violent French root). These are some of the words that come to mind. I think the Les Jamelles was startled when I opened it--lost, perhaps, in this big city hundreds of miles from its home in Southern France's Aude Valley. But it puts back on its skin after a few minutes in the glass, hardening its stare, rocking its tough city limp. Well, it tries. Enough to walk down Broadway at midnight and not get mugged. The vinegary acid quickly comes into balance and powers the milky, black cherry flavors and a grapeyness common to gamay (which I suspect is what made this bottle lose its Bourgogne designation) that emerge gloriously and lustily in the glass. As any backroad wine from as hot a vintage as this, it's an indulgent secret, much like Spain's monastrell, Long Island's cabernet franc, and Sicilia's nero d'avola.