We used aged mimolette instead of the more conventional gruyere, in semi-successful efforts to impart a pleasant orange color to the finished soufflé. I think it needed more cheese, but the (recently ex-) Native Companion doesn't take me seriously when I propose adding more cheese, because I am American.
Anyway largely due to her direction and helpful pointers the thing successfully inflated in a very satisfying and soufflé-like manner. We paired it with a miraculously great 2008 Poulsard by Jura vigneron Ludwig Bindernagel, of Les Chais de Vieux Bourg.
I say miraculous because Poulsard, as a grape, is kind of a semi-precious stone. It's reasonably interesting, particularly in terms of its color, which is usually that brick-like orange we don't associate with brightness until we see it in a wine. It's got high attention-grabbing acid, followed by a more wan, shaded kind of fruit than generally is found in Pinots and Gamays of similar weight.* There is as far as I perceive no great demand for Poulsard, with all the coverage of the Jura region being (justifiably) concentrated on its wondrous nutty whites.
The 2008 Bindernagel Poulsard is like the sideshow that upstages the main event. (Or nearly. I like his whites too.) I was first struck by the wine's pungent cranberry aromas; then by its knife-like acid, its hovering, delicate red fruit, its elegant, clear tones of orange peel, vitamins, and leather. The wine cut through the doughy, cheesy fluff of the soufflé brilliantly.
(Incidentally, this is yet another reminder that with cheese-intensive French winter cuisine - everything from soufflés to raclette to fondue - high-acid reds are pretty much obligatory. This is the only pairing I ever really get militant about, I promise.)
|Image swiped from blog.reuters.com.|
*I'd compare Poulsard to the marginal Piemontese grape Grignolino. But know one would know what I was on about.
The Bindernagel Poulsard is currently available at:
La Bodeguita du IVème
58, rue de Quincampoix
Tel: 06 19 36 70 06
52, rue de l'Arbre Sec
Tel: 01 58 62 44 30
For soufflés you will have to find a French girl to teach you how to make them.
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A concise but superficial profile of Ludwig Bindernagel @ AliceFeiring