Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Le Jardin de Charlotte

Domaine 547 is a boutique wine store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.  I don't know why it took me so long to check it out, but I'm glad I did.  All the choices seemed to be the kind that are hand-selected by a careful owner, not just product stacked on the shelves.  The store seems to always have one of L.A.'s ubiquitous food trucks parked outside during tastings, and they don't seem to mind if you bring your eats inside while you shop.  The day I was there, LudoTruck was serving on the side street.  Quite a crowd was inside the store, lounging in the open area, noshing and talking.

As usual, I wanted everything I saw.  Fortunately, Denise helped me whittle the choices down to one Bourgogne Pinot Noir that caught her eye.

Le Jardin de Charlotte carries an alcohol level of only 12.5%.  It cost $18, if I remember correctly.

The nose is abundant with fruit - blackberry, blueberry and mostly plum, but an earthy quality frames the fruit and a streak of spice runs through it.  It tastes of earth even more significantly than on the nose.  Plums dominate the fruit of the palate, but the minerality supersedes it completely.  It’s definitely not a "fruit-forward" wine.  The extreme earthiness may not be everyone's delight - I wasn't that taken with it while merely sipping.  Pair it with food, though, and it kicks into high gear.  I had it with figs from the Santa Monica Farmers' Market and a mild Alsatian cheese from the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills.  It was delicious with both, triple that for all three combined.

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