Since I live alone, I often dine alone, and drink alone. My local retailer (Hi-Times, see link) has had these around for the past few months. I was first introduced to the Guisti wine by Damon Haynes when he was sommelier at Il Palio. There wasn't much to be had, so I just had a bottle or two. It's a nice treat to be able to drink it on a daily basis. The Chidaine wines I'v ebeen following for a while and have put a lot of energy into figuring out. Again, it's nice to have a nice supply at a great price.
2005 Luigi Giusti Lacrima di Morro d'Alba
Again, really a sparkling wine. Very deeply pitched blue and black fruit with the layer of an almost lavender floral quality over top. Great balance and just all around delightful to drink. Went well with an improvised meal from the deli case at the Persian market. This is my last bottle and my local supply seems to have run dry. I don't really think there is any advantage to aging this wine as it is so much fun to drink right now. It could be that the (noticeable) tannins would fade and it would be more harmonious, but I wouldn't want to run the risk of it getting all glommy.
2005 François Chidaine Montlouis Les Bournais
When I first tasted Chidaine's 2005s out of bottle, I was quite confused. They seemed to be lacking in an edge, and an aggressiveness that I expected. As folks who have had to be around me, I've been really trying to figure out these wines. I find Francois and Manuela to be very compelling figures, but the wines have left me a little confused. This is the best Montlouis, from their best site. I think that Francois would prefer to make it sec, but that just wasn't possible in 2005. While I was slightly underwhelmed by his Vouvray, this wine was absorbing and outstanding. Luckily, my local retailer has had this readily available for months, and I've been taking advantage of drinking it with abandon. Well, I bought the last few bottles not long ago and it seems like it's time has passed as my house white. There is a penetrating, honeysuckle, chalk, and floral nose. Densely packed (it is a shame that I can't stop drinking these, hopefully Dougherty has a cellar full) and with terrific length, it responds very well to air and to warming in the glass. I really feel that Chidaine has taken a bit of the rusticity out of chenin and produced a more polished and elegant version of it. This wine is very flexible at the table and I even like to just have a glass of it alone. Worth buying and cellaring if there is still some in your area.