2015 Les Blondins Cote Roannaise

I picked up this week's wine from my favorite local wine shop,

Wine Authorities

. It's a Gamay wine from the Cote Roannaise in the southern region of the Loire Valley in France. This wine has a very interesting story. It's the product of friendship. Famous Michelin starred French chef Pierre Troisgros and and noted winemaker Robert Serol decided to plant a vineyard together in the early 1990's. Les Blondins is the only wine that comes from that vineyard. This pairing makes perfect sense. Wine is made to be paired with food. A great restaurant would lose it's credibility if it didn't also have a great wine list. Most wine drinkers select what wine they will be drinking in part based off of what they are eating that night. While there are times that I drink wine on it's own, I find that a good food pairing almost always enhances the experience of drinking the wine.

Pierre Troisgros is a remarkable French chef. His father opened 

Hôtel-Restaurant des Platanes, now known as La Maison Troisgros, in 1930. The restaurant earned its first Michelin star before Pierre came on board, but shortly after Pierre joined his father, the restaurant earned its second and third Michelin stars. Pierre eventually took over, and the restaurant has maintained its three stars. The menu is driven by what ingredients are in season and available at the market. Pierre Troisgros is the ideal chef to have a say in the flavor and taste of the wine I'm drinking. 

This wine was excellent. When I sniffed it, I got subtle notes of red fruits, like cherry and dark raspberry, and stronger notes of black pepper, tobacco, and hay. It had muskier and more full-bodied scent notes than a typical Gamay. It kind of smelled like a barnyard, in a good way. When I tasted the wine, I had a similar experience. It started off with soft notes of cherry and blackberry, with much stronger notes of pepper, tobacco, leather, and a general muskiness coming in stronger. It had medium tannins that gave the wine a lovely, velvety texture in the mouth. It was much less fruit forward than most wines that I drink, and a bit funkier, but it was very enjoyable.

My fiance and I paired this wine with a chicken and rice dish, and they went great together. The meal was more robust than the average chicken dish, so it played well of the muskiness. This wine would also be great with roasted duck, or with a hearty mushroom risotto dish.