I was at Bi-Rite Market buying meat last week when on a whim I took a detour through the wine section. Okay, the line at the counter was rather long so I grabbed a number and decided to kill time oogling bottles. The one below immediately caught my eye — the sort of faux medieval script perhaps? I’ve not had a lot of still Bugey (love the bubbly version), or none actually, and the price was $13.99, which is well-within my spontaneous purchase range. The importer (for California at least) is noted Armagnac authority Charles Neal, whose eclectic portfolio of French wines is filled with many pleasant surprises.
Maison Angelot 2007 Bugey
100% mondeuse that undergoes carbonic maceration for 10 days. Dark in color, floral, with a sort of wild prettiness to the aromas of crushed berries. It’s a cool juxtaposition of dark fruit (black cherries, plums) and fresh pepper on the palate, with a lifted finish. 12% alcohol. $13.99
Charles Neal has this to say about the region and estate on his site:
The region is a natural geographical crossroads, and the grape varieties planted here reflect this, juxtaposing the grapes of Jura, Savoie and Burgundy. Bugey uses a large variety of grapes to make a wide variety of wines, including sparkling wines and still wines. The white grapes Aligoté, Chardonnay, Rousette, Altesse, Molette and Jacquère are planted around the town. For reds, Mondeuse, Poulsard, Pinot Noir and Gamay grapes come from some of the property’s oldest vines.
Maison Angelot is run by the brothers Eric and Philippe Angelot. Their 57 acres of vineyards are divided into about 20 different parcels, some hillside and others along the valley floor. Harvest is both manual and with machine (depending on the parcel), and their modern winery houses temperature-controlled stainless-steel and fiberglass tanks.
Delicious stuff, I was sorry to see it go. Until I buy more that is. Anyway, the wine also brought to mind Peter Liem’s concept of goblessness. A gobless wine for him is one to which you could attach any of the following descriptors: refinement, finesse, elegance, subtlety, delicacy, complexity and grace. It would not contain words like: blockbuster, high-extract, glycerin, power, tannin and excess concentration, etc., etc.
I would hardly call the Angelot Bugey a light wine (and there are plenty of other light reds made in that part of France), but it certainly had a light touch. Gobless, you might say.