jamie goode's wine blog: cheese and natural wine

Saturday, February 10, 2007

cheese and natural wine

Sbrinz, a Swiss cheese, is new to me. Finding out that I was exploring the world of cheese, Bill Nanson (www.burgundy-report.com) kindly brought some over on his recent visit for the DRC tasting.

It's a hard cow's milk cheese that's similar to Grana Padano or Parmesan in texture. This one is 36 months old, and it probably has a bit of a fuitier, tangier flavour than its Italian counterparts, and is a little less salty. It's great on its own. I reckon it's quite wine friendly, too. It's also a cheese with its own official website.

Tonight's accompaniment is one of the natural wines I bought on my Paris trip.

Guy Breton Morgon Vieilles Vignes 2004 Beaujolais
With a front label that looks like a back label, this is an unusual, interesting, but less than fully convincing wine. There's some lovely, smooth, pure elegant red fruits, which are complemented by some spicy, minerality, a slightly out-of-place richer fudge and tar edge, and at the end of the palate a bit of earthy, herbal character. Overall, this is a delicious, fresh, easy drinking style of Beaujolais with a real transparency and honesty to it, but all the components don't quite sit together in harmony. I hope that doesn't sound too negative, because this is a very enjoyable wine. Very good+ 88/100 (Les Caves Auge, Paris)

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At 4:19 AM, Anonymous Stevo said...

Hi Jamie.

Had the 2003 Morgon VV and it was outstanding. Not surprised by your review although the rating might be a tad high :) As you know, the 2004 Beaujolais' are poor in general.. The 05's should be oustanding as the Cru Beaujolais' that I've had so far have been strong.


At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Doug said...

I agree with Stevo's comments and would add a couple of further points. Guy Breton is one of those producers who uses virtually no added sulphur during the fermentation process; such natural winemaking seems to result in wines that rarely taste the same one day to the next. And this surely encapsulates the positive (and potentially) negative aspects of "real wine": it is not an homogenous product, but rather a living thing. There are times, inevitably, when such wines are out of kilter.

My other comment is that this style of Morgon may be light but it will probably age pretty well (even from lesser vintages such as 2004). The pale, apparently lightweight wines of Jura and Savoie are the best counterpart to the cru Beaujolais, and they go on for 10-15 years. From my experience of Breton your best bet is either to chill it slightly (for uncomplicated gratification), or carafe it for an hour and allow it to settle, or leave it for three years.

At 4:29 PM, Blogger Man-Woman said...

Just like with wine, you have to be subtle with cheese...You mention Parmigiano and Grana padano in the same breadth, but they are rather different and Grana is sweeter. Above all it comes in many variations depending on the precise place of production. A particular one is Grana Padano from the Trentino region, called Trentingrana. This is even sweeter and it has flowery perfumes coming from the mountain pastures (trentino occupies the Italian Alps). As it happens, I am spending a few months in Trentino and will research and explain more on my blog.


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