Bugey

As seems to be the case lately, whenever I try a wine that I like and go back to buy another bottle or two for posterity (or next week), the result is the same. “Sorry, that’s the last of it. Not sure if we’ll see that again.” Hence the problem with wine shops specializing in small production natural wines. So, I’d gone back to Silverlake Wine to pick up a couple bottles of Domaine La Grange Tiphaine and heard the same words.

Randy, one of the co-owners, suggested I try a Bugey. I figured it was the name of a producer, but it turns out to be a viticultural area between Lyon and Geneva. This gamay-based wine, with its cartoon label, comes from producer Maison Angelot.

It doesn’t have the opulence or yumminess of La Grange Tiphaine, but it does offer up lots of almost-tart raspberry and strawberry, decent minerality and a stays just this side of a green taste. That green-ness is just over there but never comes over. I’m guessing that Bugey is a little higher elevation so the grapes don’t quite hit the ripeness of Beaujolais or even the eastern Loire Valley.

Note: This wine was much better after being opened and recorked and reopened a day later. Or maybe just decant it. After being opened for a few hours, some of the brightness washes away and a little bit of gamay pepper on the finish rolls in.

Serviceable and worth a try if you’ve never had one, since it was about $12 or $13. This one should be easy to spot on a shelf.