domenica 26 gennaio 2014

Gamay "Beaujolais"

I find the trend of Gamay in Beaujolais has affected my palate; normally if I need a juice wine with great drinkability I'll go for one of my prefered grape varieties from Italy the Barbera. I know they are completely different however I love the similarity through them.
Beaujolais is a southern region of Burgundy on granitic and schist soil, Gamay it is the varieties more planted along some rare chardonnay, Pinot noir and Aligotè let's say Gamay is the man in this region.
There are ten crus make this region diversified and almost unique and if they are apply to the label are red so Gamay, the crus are:
Moulin A Vent
Cote de Broully
This area is very skilled for the carbonic maceration an interesting technique of winemaking to ferment the grapes normally stemmed inclusive "whole bunch" in absence of oxygen with carbon dioxide, the bunch are closed in vats and filled with carbon dioxide gas, or more interesting are the semi carbonic maceration which the producer rather then filled with gas CO2 they using the natural carbon dioxide happening on the natural fermentation. This system extract flavor and color very quickly and very little tannin. So the wine are virtually rosè, light, fruit and juice. However some cru and some producer can make a very cool mineral and serious wine in Pinot style.
Let's start with some of my recent tasting:
Fleurie Yvon Mètras, I discover this producer in the restaurant where lately I have been working.
This simple white label are is "Villes Vignes" old vines from 2010 
Beautifully transparent with great ruby color lovely viscosity, clean and perfumed red cherry, cranberry and strawberry with a lovely ripeness. Some lavender, fennel and sage.  Resinous and tar. Sour and precise. Great wine. Fleurie is the queen of the crus, I will say the Chambolle Musigny of Cote de Nuit.

Second one Le Printemps Fleurie 2010 from Yvon Metras. Less complex than is Villes vigne but I found it with more mineral very granitic and schisty, stony steely and rubbery. Another Queen
Next producer according to Kermit Lynch a wine merchant in States is one of the gang of four of the Gamay from Beaujolais.
 Jean Foillard
 The biggest part of his vineyard are in Morgon the sturdy and masculine cru of this region a "Gevery Chambertin". Granite and schist on a deposit of clay and sandy, very fertile soil. From this vigneron I had the Cote de Py from 2011. "Cote de Py" stand for a famous slope outside the town of Villie Morgon, an exceptional  Grand cru.
This wine every time I had I was amazed by its beauty and funkiness; more concentrated in color than Fleurie, some black and red cherry lovely tannin quite mellow but present. Palate red plum juice and structure very mineral, sour and great length… My goodness how good it is "Funky free jazz". 
The next wine from Foillard was a 2007 "Cuvee Corcelette" a 80 years old vine on a completely sand stone soil I wasn't amazed by this one, I do think without granitic soil Gamay doesn't express himself very good. I'll taste it again and review next time... for now let's said the bottle wasn't in a great condition.

Still another Cote du Py from Foillard from 2010 a very different vintage more approachable but more typically Beaujolais, the nose more rubbery and bit shorter but still great and outstanding wine.
Another Fleurie was from Julie Balagny a young producer with very cool labels. This wine still from 2010 a classic approachable vintage was perfumed peach and racy, bubble gum with hint of smoked hay, sweetly fruit but not excessive. Any lady will enjoy the wine of this amazing girl "Julie". A very passionate winemaker.
Classic Fleurie 

Now it's time for a legend Mr. Marcel Lapierre a father of the biodinamique in Beaujolais. Detail, precision and meticulous are his approach to winemaking his wine are more pinotesque than Gamay. I love all his wine for me there is no different of vintage; with this producer you can lock yourself in any dinner with your friends or partner and make them happy with a bottle of Marcel.
Many thanks going to the grand father of the movement of natural winemaking in this region Mr. Jules Chauvet a negociant who unfortunately died in 1989.
Chauvet was a rare combination of winemaker, research of chemist and super taster. He argued for naturalness in wine from a position of scientific expertise and immense experience.


venerdì 17 gennaio 2014

Viognier new world Bendigo.

Bendigo wine region in Central Victoria in Australia we are not far from Melbourne a few hours driving  in land.
Volcanic plains, alluvial, rolling granite hills, brown loamy soils predominate in structure with a moderate chalk content. The region has a mediterranean climate with warm, dry summer and mild wet winter. Some variation happening due to the elevation of slopes and aspect in regards of the mesoclimate vineyards character.
Sutton Grange it is one of the vineyard located in this beautiful part of the world, the man behind this winery is Gillies Lapalus he make a range of different wines and grapes varieties in two different lines Fairbank and Sutton Grange.
One of the wine I really love it is his Viogner under the label Sutton Grange; the 2010 has an incredible texture as Rhone valley do, but as the land change from an old world point of view also this wine do.
Pale yellow color, translucent and brilliance, good intensity. A bit reductive floral notes, pears and apple, undertone citrus lemon zest, mineral, granitic and almost flint, mushroom. Creamy and soft, great fluidity with a strong structure in the palate without phenolic heaviness, warm the 14,5% play a big role on the palate but very pleasant.
2010 was a great vintage with a perfect growing season with a good balance of sugar and acid, the aromatic profile of the grape was superb.

sabato 11 gennaio 2014

Chablis Vaillons and Cote de Lechet 10/11

I love Chablis and all wine from that region, of course i prefer the grand cru side and the premier cru on the right side of the Seresin river as Fourchame, Monte de Tonnere and Mont de Millieu; however on the other side in the left bank there still some great premier cru to be watched. I certainly like the Cote de Lechet, Valloins and some good side in Montmains as Foret.
On the side below the grand cru recently I had a fine chablis from the premier cru Vaillons by Damien & Romain Bouchard 2010 quite a new producer for me. The wine was rounder and fresher with salty nose, quinine, ripe peach and mature apple. Palate great spine acid with lemony character, orange and lemon rind. Nice balance with depth concentration and precise mineral content nose and palate.. crushed rocks, gunpowder and flinty limestone.
I don't have much information about them so I find some info on the web; DRB is a new concept created by Romain Bouchard an organic winemaker in Chablis and his brother Damien a young winemaker. Together have decide to create DRB to have a range of wine with a good expression of the amazing land of Chablis. Grapes are purchased from a selection of great wine growers in the region; vilification is done in the winery of Pascal Bouchard and only single vineyards selection there is no blending, each wine expresses is own terroir.

                                                      Cote de Lechet by Laurent Tribut 2011
                           I did this review early last year on my blog. I just paste and copy the article.

The climate in the Chablis region is mostly influenced by the continental climate of the Saône region. The average annual temperature is around 11°. It is not uncommon for the region to experience minimum evening temperatures of -20° or -25° in January, and evening temperatures below 0° at the end of April and the beginning of May. Favorable daytime temperatures of above 10° begin in mid-April and end around the beginning of October. The town of Chablis lies in the valley of river Serein, surrounded by hills, in the best sites it is limestone overlaid with a layer of Kimmeridgian clay, which is very rich in marine fossils. 
Lately I enjoyed this small vigneron Lauren Tribut his Cote de Lechet 2011,was quite interesting. The wine was immediately appealing, crispy and lively, with lovely fruit, lemony aromas, spice apple flowers, smokiness, toasty flavor and direct minerality with shellfish, limestone and button mushroom good balance with a silky finish and precise and energetic acidity with a good potential aging.

Laurent Tribut married Marie-Clotilde Dauvissat, the daughter of René Dauvissat, he joined the family ́s wine- making tradition. Long ago the Dauvissat ́s had purchased excellent A.O.C. Chablis vineyards adjoining their own premier cru, to give their children the opportunity to become viticulturists.
Laurent, Marie-Clotilde, and their children live only a few miles from René Dauvissat, in a large, restored farmhouse, with vineyards behind the property. Laurent is a good- natured man whose love of the vineyards is expressed in careful viticulture, using the minimum application of fertilizers and phytosanitary treatments. 
In addition to 7.907 acres of A.O.C. Chablis, which is a superb parcel of kimmeridjian soil adjacent to Dauvissat ́s own vineyards, Tribut owns the following premier cru vineyards:
Chablis Beauroy
 Chablis Montmains 
Chablis Côte de Léchet 
Yields are kept to 50 hectoliters per hectare, and the harvest is done by hand. 

venerdì 10 gennaio 2014

Chenin Blanc landscape

Clement Baraut Vigneron Savennieres 2010 Le Pirouillet
Baraut makes this wine from a 32 year old vines purchased in 2009 from Nicholas Joly.
Typical Savennieres terroir limestone and sandy with a top slate. Pitrouillet has got vibrant acidity with a rich character, floral and minerally on the nose and palate, green apple, kernel, tangerine and cardamon with an hint of honey and chamomile… Lovely length and great texture.
Baraut is a new producer in the Loire valley arrived there in 1989 , he was working in Bordeaux at the Chateau Haut Brion.
I found this phrase by him on the web
"I was a great believer that wine is made in vineyard not in the cellar; not a very "bordelaise" or oenologist idea".
That perhaps the step on go somewhere like the Loire. Since the late 90', Baraut has worked as a consultant for several of the most esteemed producers in Savennieres including Patrick Baudouin, Domaine Closel and Domaine de Rouchambeau; becaming familiar with the terroir of Savennieres and also developed his knowledge and expertise in natural winemaking.
Picking is done manually at the perfect ripeness without signs of rot, natural yeast and neutral burgundy barrels are using for fermentation.
3 AOCs: Savennieres, Savennieres Couleee de Serrant and Savennieres Roche aux Moines
Thierry German of Domaine des Roches Neuves 
L'Insoite 2012 Saumur Blanc
Peachy chenin blanc with great mineral structure lovely wet stone and flinty character with lovely spine acid. Phenolic and mouth filling, superb with right apple on the nose and some button mushroom, dried yellow flowers and slightly grassy. Long finish with immaculate freshness very multilayer on scents nose and palate.

Thierry German has been working  biodynamically since 2000 and now after 10 years he said we start see the difference, I wish to try some of his old wines.
He doesn't believe in ripe harvest and over extracting fermentation and that's show the freshness in his wines.
Very little use of sulphur and never before the malolactic occurring.
Great wines. 

lunedì 6 gennaio 2014

Damery and Cumières Champagne RM

                                                          Domaine Alexandre Filaine
                                                                      Geoges Laval
Damery and Cumieres are neighbor towns along the Marne river in Champagne. Vincent Laval and Fabrice Gass are two truly champagne growers sharing same technique, minimal manipulation, native yeast fermentations, organic farming and very low use of sulphur. Also some blog on the web tell me they have been in school togheter. we are in the southern of Montaigne de Reims leading over into Valle de la Marne a soil with free lime (high ph) belemnite and micraster chalky soil provide grapes with high acid content.
In Montaigne de reims the top soil are mixture of sandy and clay lignite with chalk rubble, subsoil principally Belemnite chalk with micraster chalk full of lignite and sandstone.
Valle de la Marne topsoil are marl, lignite with sandy loam and clay sharing almost the same subsoil with more clay and sandstone mixer together.
Gass is a winemker at Bollinger, Fillaine is his side project on 1 hectare and the production is around 4.000 bottle per year. The wine have the bollinger power with very high acidity because they don't go through malolactic fermentation. Pinot noir with small amount of Chardonnay and Meunier the wine fermented on 100 year barrel.
The wine are powerful and energetic with creamy texture and lovely orchard fruit character along some rasberrier sour red fruit, lovely autolytic perception bread, toast and lees. Awesome wine for a microscopic production.
Laval's is a bit bigger but still very small amount production, 2.5 hectares. Average vine age is over 30 years, the oldest vines are 70 years age. Since 1971 Laval family have been practicing organic viticulture, certified by Ecocert. Traditonal Coquard vertical press which hold 2,000 Kg are used. Ripe harvest, indigenous yeast fermentation in barrel are the requirement for the production of the wine with no filtration or cold-stabilized; before bottling the wine spend 10 months on barrel. Very low level of sulphur, usually 20 grams for liter. The majority of his champagne are release without dosage, great harmony complexity with an incredible mineral character.
The chalky sensation and limestone I feel in the palate I hardly find in this categories of Champagne growers. One of my favorite producer.