VINS NOUVEAUX 2015 ! 2015 vintage was a good one for almost all regions and winemakers, and what better preview than the “Primeur” or “Nouveau” wines ? I tried a few wines from different area and I’ll share it with you ! Côtes du Rhône Nouveau 2015 – Marcel Richaud Nouveau wines are not only for Beaujolais, this one is from South Rhone Valley, made by Cairanne superstar Marcel Richaud. It has all you excpect from a Primeur wine x all you excpect from a good Marcel Richaud’s Côtes du Rhône : a fruit bomb, peppery and juicy, round and generous, with a kicking acidity and a refreshing bitterness. A tasty alternative to the Beaujolais ! Vin de France (Beaujolais) 2015 – Domaine des Grottes Great wine ! Never heard about the winery before but totally awsome : tiny place with polyculture in Biodynamie (vines, wheat, vegetables, plants…), ridiculous production (15 hl/hectare), 100% natural… As a result that Beaujolais nouveau is fantastic ! Delightful fruity juice, ripe and tasty, I can’t wait to try the …
Monts et Merveilles is a new winery in Languedoc (Minervois), with a very small vineyard (4,20 ha) and a fantastic spirit. Laure and Julien started in 2012, following the most evident and simple rules of agriculture combined with biodynamic method. They make wonderful natural wines, full of fruit, freshness, and passion ! Marsanne and Roussanne for the whites, Grenache, Syrah, Carignan for the reds, all of their wines are great. But there was one that particularly stunned me : “Page Blanche” 2013. This wine has an awesome ginseng taste ! Fermentation and 13 month raising in small clay jars (and a part in old barrels) give this Marsanne a wonderful nose on ginseng, roots, pear and earth ! With a delicate and elegant body. A great wine and totally unique ! It was raised in clay jars but has nothing in common with amphora/Qevri wines or “orange” wine. Unfortunately they only produced 500 bottles in 2013 and didn’t do it again. But maybe will it comes out on a future vintage ? Don’t miss Monts …
Cabernet Franc is not the kind of wine we are very found of. But, when it comes from the Loire valley and when it is so nicely done, it is wonderful! Why? Not only because the red fruits are opulents and are very intense, but also because this 7 months raised wine is so drinkable you’ll be done with the bottle before you even notice it. Fresh, simple and so glou-glou you’ll be begging for more. Nicolas Reau does a wonferful job at doing wines and I’m sure we’ll do many more reviews about this winemaker. He started working with qveries 2 years ago and the result is wonderful. AWESOME work Nicolas, keep it up!
This wine is by Sylvain Bock of the Ardèche, a region where one can find many excellent natural wines. It is 100% Chardonnay and has 13.5% alcohol. For two years it is aged in old oak barrels, hence the name, and is “sans soufre ajouté.” I drank it at Pratz, in Pigalle, a lovely, small cave à manger owned by Tomas Babot. On offer is an excellent choice of small plates and sandwiches, cans and jars of artisanal food products and a well chosen selection of natural wines. In the glass it has a nice golden color and a clear appearance. The nose has some vegetative notes though the fruit is a bit restrained. On the palate I am immediately struck by the texture; smooth and silky with a nice round mouthfeel, wonderful, and I smile. Soft ripe fruit is balanced by a crisp acidity which kicks in mid-palate. A very pretty, enjoyable wine which is easy to drink. Cool liquid sunshine in a glass.
Bordeaux. A region that don’t excites me anymore. Of course during my short sommelier life I tasted some great name of Bordeaux, on mature vintages, at expensive prices… but I finally drink very few Bordeaux. Even less since I drink natural wines ! Here comes Château Le Puy, my personal great Bordeaux, my favorites, everything I love in wine I found it in their Bordeaux wines ! Château Le Puy is a family domaine since 1610 (!) owned by Jean-Pierre and Pascal Amoreau nowadays. Biodynamic, very few (or no) sulfites, no filtration, no new oak barrel. A natural wine but with a strong Bordeaux identity. “Émilien” is the classic wine from Château Le Puy, a blend of 85% Merlot, then mostly Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Though it’s still pretty young it’s a real pleasure to drink it after decanting : it’s ripe, on the cooked black currant and blueberry, with vegetal hints like red pepper and grass (Cabernet typicality but no caricature). On the palate it’s elegant, thin but generous, absolutely no rough tannins, …
Forget everything you knew and thought were true about Syrah. Let go the oaky, vanilla Parker tremens that goes with it. B red from Chapeau Bas is all about freshness, red fruits and crunchiness and sorry… But the bottle is gone. With a low 11,5% of alcohol, you will be amazed by how this grape variety is so enjoyable! This is why natural wines are so wonderful. They always go against preconceptions of what we thought wine or grape varieties were. Natural wine is a whole new world. Don’t forget to take some time to dive into it and give this one a try!
In the city of Nice (South of France) there is a mythic and historic wine bar named “La Part des Anges”, there you can drink the best of natural wines at ridiculously low price. There I had the chance to drink one of the last bottles of “Kharaktêr” 2010 from Christian Chaussard, unfortunately a rarity since the Christian passed away in 2012… It’s a wonderful ripe Chenin blanc, on pear, quince, gooseberries notes, straight and mineral, with a perfect balance and a long finale. Truly natural but without caricature. A very gastronomic wine ! That paired really well with a few sardines and delicious bread with a thick layer of butter ! It’s always emotional to drink one of the last bottles made by Christian Chaussard… Really happy to have been able to enjoy it !
Nose is dark, rich, vibrant…palate is dark fruit, sappy, multi-layered, after a bit of air palate shows figs, graphite and a bit grenachy…vegetation present throughout, dynamic, evolving…the minerality and zip pines keep it in balance. It is a big wine, 15% but nicely balanced.
If you never heard of Grolleau, don’t worry it is a long forgotten grape variety only brought back to life by the willing and support of the natural wine makers. Both, nose and mouth provide a strong and solid feeling of sincerity coming from soil and work of man. Drinkability is wonderful and if you have a « petit salé aux lentilles » (salt pork with lentils), you’ll have a perfect match! Go for it!
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