2002 Domaine Arlaud Bourgogne Roncevie: Starts out acidic, ends substantial
april 10, 2011: 10 minutes into this roncevie, and i had already given up. that's how little time i was willing to grant this pinot noir, which was on a blind date with a grilled lemon-dijon chicken. my thoughts? this domaine arlaud had arrived at the party angry and annoyed, spitting out some version of pinched acidity we had had nothing to do with. and it wasn't the chicken, either, which was full of flavor and personality. frustrated, i was ready to kick it out. we had another pinot we could have easily brought in to pinch hit, a sarasota, fla., import from california that would have surely had some warmer things to say, like the ever delightful: thanks for inviting me. but greg was there to see past the tension. give it time, he said, and anyway, whatever i saw as acidity, he had no problem with. so i had more chicken, and a bit more of the green beans and rice. and suddenly it was like this red burgandy and i had brokered some version of peace. i don't know: maybe i was hungry. maybe the bourgogne needed time to breathe, to compose itself after what could have been a nervous entrance. but whatever the reason, or the solution, in the end we ended up giving this fruity, cool and smoothly substantial dinner companian a good review. and it ended up being a wine that made our weekend. which leads us to: so much for first impressions, because it's the final ones that really last. 12.5 percent alcohol.
this column runs as "bottle by bottle" in the evansville courier and press twice or so a month. the focus is on wines, food and how they intersect. if i receive gifts, i'll tell you. photo credits are noted. i buy most of my wines from winetree, varsity liquors, schnucks, the fresh market, kwik liquor and winestyles (in evansville, ind.); big red liquors and sahara mart (in bloomington, ind.); vecchio's italian market (in newburgh, ind.); whole foods (in st. louis); and binny's (in chicago.) also, i do try a number of wines that i don't necessarily mention in the column, through travels to france and other markets (germany, hungary, italy, etc.) that don't sell wines i can find here. those experiences factor into my tasting descriptions, even if i don't mention them in the column, so keep all that in mind. i write the column to tell my readers in the evansville, ind., area what i consider to be flavorful, balanced and good-value wines for sale in this area.