January 23, 2011

Feast of St. Vincent

January 22 is the feast of St. Vincent of Saragossa, the patron saint of the vigneron and adopted patron of Burgundians. I named my winery Vincent not only because it's my name and my uncle and grandfather's, nor because "vin" in is the name. No, with a focus on Pinot noir and many things Burgundian here in Oregon, I thought it made sense to reference our historic patron, St. Vincent.

Because it would be a little too self-referential to drink my own wine to mark the occassion, I thought it appropriate to open a bottle of Burgundy. Specifically, the 2005 Gerard Raphet Bourgogne, with no importer's label and, under the foil capsule, a nice bit of cellar gunk. You might think the wine had leaked, causing mold to grow on the cork. No, this is clearly wine that was bottled without a label or capsule and left to age in the producer's cellar until it was sold, then cleaned off, mostly, and labeled and capsuled. When I pulled the cork, sure enough, there was no sign of leakage. Instead, the gunk is evidence of old school production methods.

The wine followed suit. Even from a ripe year like 2005, this wine was translucent ruby in color with clean, crisp red fruit aromas. The flavors were similarly light and bright, perhaps a little too cranberry for casual sipping but nicely lively and richer with a simple mushroom and egg noodle pasta, not unlike a simple nebbiolo (which might have been a more classic match). In sum, a simple but honest way to mark the feast of my namesake. Am thinking I might have to throw a bigger bash in future years to celebrate the day. My own Fete de St. Vincent. Interested?

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