Two Excellent Wines
from Macon and Minervois.
If you like Maconnais, as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald did, then you’ll have love this. Coming from the northern reaches of the Mâcon, it is an unoaked Chardonnay and is is new to the shelves at O’Briens.
Pale gold is the colour, clean and bright. Apple and lime and a floral touch too in the aromas. On the palate it is crisp and fresh, an array of citrus and melon flavours, nice bit of acidity also, an almost creamy mouthfeel and a good long finish. I’ve always enjoyed wines from this region, this is no exception and is Very Highly Recommended.
Hemingway was quite a lover of these wines as he disclosed in A Moveable Feast. On a drive up from the south of France with Scott Fitzgerald, they enjoyed a packed lunch which included truffled roast chicken and he reported that Scott was very happy when we "drank the white Maconnais at each of our stops". Later on that day, "At Mácon I had bought four bottles...which I uncorked as we needed them." No breath-analyser in those roaring twenties.
I’ve read this is an excellent wine to serve with oven roasted scallops in the shell with herb cream. Then again, Hemingway’s pairing with truffled roast chicken sounds very interesting as well.
Money was no problem to Hemingway but many of us would struggle to buy some of the better Chardonnays from Burgundy. The Mâconnais, as illustrated here, offers an excellent introduction at a much lower price point than the Côte de Beaune and so on.
Dark ruby is the colour of this supple unoaked Minervois from certified sustainably farmed vineyards. It is the classic GSM blend: Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre.
In the intense aromas you’ll find black fruits (plums, cherry). Soft, juicy, fruity, terrific balance and a long finish. This easy-drinking rather elegant wine, with silky tannins, is relatively new to the O’Briens portfolio. Full bodied and lush, immediately loveable, with a persistent finish and a touch of spice, this is Very Highly Recommended. Pair with paté, roasted meats and pasta. Serve at 18 degrees.