Thick and inky Cabernet Sauvignon seems to be the majority of the population’s idea of a good gift. Send so-and-so a nice Cab, around $30. So we do as we are asked, and certainly there are many nice labels available to fulfill this demand. But what is the recipient is not in the mood to be klonked on the head with oaked, ripe, warm-climate wine? What if the recipient wants something a bit more delicate, not so tongue- coating, and exotic. Here are two wines to try:
2009 Jacques Puffeney Arbois ‘Trousseau Cuveé Bérangères’. Jura, France-$38.99
Listen, I am with you when you say that the hipsters are ruining the Jura. Lord knows how this obscure region in Central France on the Swiss border become such a ‘phénome a la Brooklyn’, but perhaps the Jura’s lack of industrial centers and reliance upon artisan products and trades such as butchery, furniture-making, baking, resonated with that borough full of pickle-makers. It could be the facial hair of Jacques Puffeney ,whose beard rivals any young bartender working today. Whatever the case, if you are in the mood for a savory, subtle, complex and delicate wine, a Trousseau like this is a great way to go. Trousseau is demanding, and difficult to grow, but in the right hands (or beard in this case) can be as arresting and compelling as any cru Beaujolais or well-made village level Burgundy.
2010 Pascal Janvier Côteaux du Loire ‘Cuveé du Rosier’. Loire Valley, France-$19.99
Another light-hued beauty from the coolest of climates, made from ancient variety Pineau D’Aunis. There is not much still Pineau D’Aunis being made anymore, the variety is used mainly now for sparkling wine production. This is the kind of wine you can drink at four in the afternoon, chilled slightly in the cool shallows of a river bank, accompanied by some country pate and a hunk of robust bread. The fruit is tart and the acidity brazen. For palates like razors, we say.