Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Mikulski in Burgundy - and it ain't Barbara on vacation

The Guelbenzu 2006 Evo was one of the fall's great successes. Mr. Marathon wanted a high-end California cabernet sauvignon taste at a modest price, a balance quite ably struck by the Guelbenzu, a blend of 70% cab, 15% Merlot and 15% Tempranillo from Ribera del Queiles, which is near Zaragoza in northeastern Spain. The chief liked the wine so much that he ordered several bottles when he heard that the store had reduced the price to $20 a bottle.

I ran into another Guelbenzu on Monday when I was wandering the shelves at Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore in search of a red to accompany some prime rib left over from Christmas. Lying in the Spanish section was the Guelbenzu Vierlas 2007, a blend of 70% syrah, 20% merlot, and 10% graciano, a blending grape grown in northern Spain, the south of France, Australia and California. Aged in oak for six months, this was a very respectable Rhone-style syrah for $16, with the requisite spice and pepper and a little barnyard to keep you honest. MFWC's mother - Madame Chardonnay du Chene - shies away from reds, but she had no problem downing half a bottle of this one and reported no headache the next morning. 

MFWC also couldn't resist a 2009 white burgundy from Francois Mikulski. Presumably, Francois is not closely related to Barbara Mikulski, the longtime Congresswoman and U.S. Senator from Baltimore whose classic Crabtown accent and brawler's attitude are legendary. Francois will celebrate the 20th anniversary of his Meursault winerey in 2012. His father fled Poland in 1939, joined the British army, and eventually married a French woman who gave birth to Francois in Dijon in 1963. Francois's uncle, a Meursault winemaker, introduced him to the craft, and after a stint in California the nephew came home, where he has become a highly respected producer of whites:

One of the staffers at Wells said the Mikulski entry-level white burgundy was tasty and classic if a tad overpriced at $25, and he was right. It had oak, a touch of honey, a touch of citrus and would work with traditional Maryland seafood about as well as a bottle of Natty Boh. (Not crabcakes with too much Old Bay, though.) You East Village people can try the Mikulski out for $11 a glass at Prune, whose very solid wine blog praised the wine a few weeks ago:

1 comment:

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