Vino del fine settimana – A battle of two 05 whites from France and Italy

This weekend was all about lobster fishing.  Banned most of the year, October 1st at 08:00 marks the start of the season.  Will not bore you with too many details here, other than say that it was very foggy, we looked thoroughly (fisherman) professional, and we got only 1 – one – lobster all weekend.

Lobster fishermen, Line Randmæl, Bente Ruzicka

Bente and Line (my wife, to the right) ready to go lobster fishing

More importantly though, we had very carefully selected two wines we had learned (by asking around) would go well with fresh lobster – both 2005 whites, one from Burgundy, and one from Sicily.

Pietramarina Etna Bianco Superiore is an intriguing wine made by Giuseppe Benanti and his sons Antonio and Salvino. It’s from a vineyard on the eastern side of Etna, with 80 year old vines, in sandy and volcanic soil.  It’s made from the Carricante variety, a vine only cultivated on Etna.  Greenish golden in color, minerally flowers, and citrus (lots of it) and peaches on the nose, round and elegant, with a nutty and mineral finish.  In some ways, and I know this is not possible, but there is a hint of the ocean and the breeze in this wine.  Or maybe it was just us drinking it just after a couple of hours lobster fishing on the Norwegian coast…  Anyways, a definite proof that there are great whites to be found in Italy too.  Cellarable – acidity and freshness suggest you can safely leave it for a couple of years, and probably much longer than that.

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Next up, a magnum 05 Mersault Genevrières from Domaine Antoine Jobard, formerly known as Domaine Francois Jobard (to add to the confusion, the 05 label says Domaine Antoine & Francois Jobard). Antoine today produces around 30 000 bottles of white, mostly from vineyards in Mersault, but also some small parcels in Puligny-Montrachet and Blagny.

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The 05 Mersault Genevrières is all you’d expect to be:  A great vintage, from a great vineyard, by a great producer – should turn out great then right?  Butter, almond, apple, and lemon. Creamy and mineral on the palate. Very long. And evolving (we did not decant) in the glass, revealing lime and almonds. A mouthful. Stunning. Should only get better if you can hold onto it for a couple of more years.  We’re out, but had a very good experience with the (1) lobster, some crab, and the wine.

Note to self:  if looking for winemakers who did not fall into the oak-cauldron as children, seek out Antoine Jobard.  And his wines.  And try out Benanti – they’ll give plenty of Burgundy whites a run for their money.

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