When an email from my friend Bobby Kacher informed me that he was enjoying a 2010 Quincy Blanc from Philippe Portier of the LoireValley, and that it was especially good with shrimp, I took notice.
You see, Bobby, American importer of idiosyncratic French wines, has spent half his life driving the dusty back roads of France seeking out cantankerous old, and not so old, winemakers, who, contrary to all prevailing business sense, insist on turning our distinctive, artisanal wines. Wines with verve, wines with personality.
Not all his wines work for me – some of them have a little too much “personality” for my taste, but that doesn’t matter; when they work they are super, and they are never boring. It’s definitely worth seeking out wines from Robert Kacher Selections.
This one is typical. Quincy is a small, little-known appellation proximate to the more famous, and more expensive, Sancerre. Both produce Sauvignon Blanc.
But because it is less well known, Quincy has to try harder, and its wines are cheaper.
Anyway, back to the shrimp. For the next few days I couldn’t get the thought of those scampi out of my mind so I tracked down the wine, bought the shrimp, and prepared this simple supper – and what a treat it turned out to be.
Bobby was correct – the combination was superb. The wine was brimming with an intense, aromatic richness along with a briny minerality that perfectly complimented the garlicky, buttery crustaceans. It was layered with succulent ripe peaches, Gala apples, and ribboned with hints of almonds and hazelnuts. It stood as a delightful and refreshing contrast to all those industrial California Chardonnays and watery Italian Pinot Grigio I see so much of.
It had intensity, grip, focus and a clear, confidently expressed personality. What more could one want with a dish of scampi for a mere $22?
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