January 12, 2013

Wines of Thierry Puzelat

I've become a fan over the past few years of French winemaker Thierry Puzelat. Puzelat, a proponent of natural winemaking, has been cranking out great wines from the Loire Valley for years. His wines are pure, show expressions of place, and are usually rather affordable by today's standards. Puzelat currently is the winemaker for Clos du Tue Boeuf in Cheverny, which he runs with his brother, Jean-Marie, but also makes wine in partnership with negociant, Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme.
The La Butte from Clos du Tue Boeuf, pictured above, is one of my faves from the past couple of years, is a steal at $15 locally. I recently picked up a few bottles of his In Cot We Trust, made with Bonhomme, a Malbec from Loire Valley. You might not automatically think of Malbec when you think of the Loire Valley, it's more widely planted in South America now, but Malbec is one of the six grapes allowed in Bordeaux wine. Cot is the Loire Valley name for Malbec. This wine shows some of the dark purple color of Malbec, but it's loaded with the barnyardy character of Puzelat's Loire wines. It's earthy, funky, and raw. It tastes like the earth. A wine that has not been manipulated to be something other than what it is. But, there's also some big, dark fruit here that's rather appealing. It's an interesting and entirely drinkable wine that would work perfectly in colder weather along with some robust fare.

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