A Taste For The Esoteric
A taste for the esoteric sends enthusiasts of all kinds to the edge of their interest in an attempt to find the latest and greatest, the most obscure, or anything to invigorate their curiosity. Whether your curiosity lies in art, music, books, wine etc. the obscure can be found, but you must know where to look.
As a musician with mercurial taste, living in the East Bay has served me well. Between Down Home in El Cerrito and Amoeba in Berkeley, my recorded music needs are fulfilled. A year-long fixation on the Bon Scott years of AC/DC and early ZZ Top recently gave way to a dormant bluegrass obsession that has lead me deep into the catalog of the old guard (namely Tony Rice) and the new guard (the Punch Brothers).
For wine enthusiasts though, look no further than the southeast corner of our Berkeley retail shop. There, you will find selections from the Basque region of France, and more specifically the new arrival from Domaine Bru-Baché—the 2009 Jurançon Sec ($16.95). Jurançon is deeply engrained in French wine culture and history. This village in the southwest of France was one of the first appellation controllées and wine has been made there since the Middle Ages. In the 14th century, the regional aristocracy identified and valued premier parcels in Jurançon, thus introducing the idea of cru vineyards.
The sweet wines of Jurançon are made primarily with the Petit Manseng grape. This small, thick-skinned variety hangs on the vine until December before being harvested. The sec is made of Gros Manseng and presents a character as unique as the appellation is obscure. The classic lime-green tint in the glass gives way to a zingy, exotic palate of fresh-cut, zesty citrus. A persistent herbal, resin, juniper finish makes this a perfect quaffer—great as an apéritif with some cheese and olives.
Having one glass just to say that you’ve now tasted Jurançon won’t be sufficient, you’ll start wanting more and more of this wine. Act soon—not much is made which means it will only be in our shop for so long.
What are you favorite esoteric wines? Don’t hesitate to respond in the comments section below…