Thursday, December 3, 2009

#10 - Jerk Chicken and 2007 François Pinon Cuvée Tradition

Shorter one today.

Coming off the fat feast with the Clos Fourtet, a less fatty, more simple and less labor-intensive meal was in order.

Food: Jerk Chicken with Rice and Cuban Black Beans

Jerk has a prominent place in the Ney house. Allspice, peppers, cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme and garlic. What's not to like?

Chicken breast in a jerk rub (that's what she said!), Cuban beans done in onions, peppers and honey with a hefty pile of rice.

Wine: 2007 François Pinon Cuvée Tradition - $20-ish Wine Discount Center

We went with another Chenin Blanc, this time Vouvray, located just north of Montlouis-sur-Loire and more well-known.

All honey on the nose. It's a little lean with apple and pineapple, a bit of brioche (something I only recognized after reading the tasting notes) and mineral with touch of honey. Has a slight buttery creaminess that reminded us of oaked Chardonnay in an odd way. Just a bit and something we both don't particularly love.

It's balanced and a better wine than the recently drank François Chidane for various reasons. With a smidge more acid, I think the fruit would have made for a more satisfying experience. But with Chenin Blanc, you don't come for the fruit and stay for the mineral/honey/wax. It's usually the other way around with a nod to its delicate Frenchiness.

We're still trying to find out what we like when it comes to Loire wines and last night, we felt like we missed that yeasty, sur-lee quality that comes with Muscadets, something that usually is approximated with beeswaxy notes in Chenin Blancs. This one didn't have that in a pronounced way.

We've had better Vouvrays in our limited experience with such things but it wasn't bad in the least, just didn't pop. South African Chenin has a good reputation. We'll give one of those a try very soon.

Pairing: Fine enough, should have drank something different.

Most likely, we would have had a better pairing with something more simple and big. More sugar with a Riesling or bigger fruit with an Albariño.

The Cuvée Tradition is a wine culled from multiple vineyards to make sort of a typical example of Chenin Blanc that reflects the year instead of a particular vineyard. It was a fine enough wine but bringing something more basic, more raw (?), bigger, more acid and more fruit-forward would have been a better choice. We tried to force-fit a Chenin into the meal. No clash or weird aftertaste. Enjoyable enough, just didn't do much.

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