VINI VITI VINCI, NICOLAS VAUTHIER – Organic
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- MACONNAIS CHALONNAIS
- LES CADOLES DE CHARDONNAY, NICOLAS PATRICK LAUGERE, Mâcon – Organic
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VINI VITI VINCI, NICOLAS VAUTHIER – Organic.
These are the stick-a-brown-bag-over-the-bottle wines of Vini Viti Vinci in northern Burgundy (parental guidance labels)
made by Nicolas Vauthier, the Ayatalloh of Iran-cy. Nicolas Vauthier has been a big fan of non-interventionist wines, at the
forefront of promoting the wines he loves, for donkey’s years. He opened Aux Crieurs de Vin, a wonderful natural wine
bar/store/restaurant in the city of Troyes, and ran it for ten years. Eventually, having been surrounded by so much good wine,
good times and conversations, Nicolas decided he wanted to make some wine for himself.
What he has created is a micro “negoce” house in Avallon, in the northern part of Burgundy near Chablis. Nicolas buys
organically grown grapes ‘a pied’, still on the vine, harvests them with his own pickers, and then, in the spirit of minimal
intervention, lets the wine make itself, intervening as little as possible. Wonderfully vibrant fruity aromas, satin textures and a
vibrant, mineral core characterise the reds. He works with partial carbonic maceration which helps to make his northern
Burgundy wines fruitier and more delicious. The fermentation takes place in large old wooden foudres with no sulphur – only
a drop in the bottle. The only thing ripe about Vauthier’s wines are the labels, as the Kenny Everett used to say, it’s all done
in the best possible taste.
COTES D’AUXERRE ALIGOTE BREAU
COULANGES CHANVERRE BLANC
BOURGOGNE GRANDE ORDINAIRE
IRANCY “BEAUX MONTS”
IRANCY “LES MAZELOTS”
IRANCY “LES RONCES”
BOUROGNE COULANGES VINEUSE
BOURGOGNE EPINEUL VALS NOIRS
A STUDY IN CLARETS – by Sir Robert Parker Doyle
“To the curious incident of the oak in Chardonnay”.
“There was no oak in the Chardonnay”.
“That was the curious thing”.
“Holmes, for the life of me, I cannot tell what this wine is”.
“It’s all there in front of you, my dear fellow. You know my methods, Watson, apply them”.
Obediently, I wrote down each sensation with as much method as I could muster: “Lemon entry in the mouth,
“Lemon entry, my dear Watson?” said Holmes quizzically peering over my shoulder
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MACONNAIS & CHALONNAIS
~ The Alternative Wine Glossary
MACON-FUISSE “BOIS DE LA CROIX”
POUILLY-FUISSE “LES SCELES”
POUILLY-FUISSE “LES SCELES”– ½ bottle
DOMAINE PHILIPPE & GERARD VALETTE, Mâcon – Organic
Working the soil, chemical-free viticulture, short pruning, the Valettes do a huge amount of work amongst the vines to
maximise the expression of their terroir. This effort from one of the region’s steadfastly independent families in the village
of Chaintré, 10km south of Mâcon, is from vines aged 60 years and above planted on clay-silica soils. Harvest is manual in
late September and the entire harvest is pressed slowly with a pneumatic press. Vinification is natural: without sulphur,
without yeasts, chaptalisation or acidification. Elevage is for twenty-six months on the fine lees in tank (20%) and futs de
chêne (80%). Ripe apple, honey, lemon and grey mineral all come together in a distinctly mature, winey nose. Clarity of
fruit and good acidity show through, with a lusher profile than Chablis but a long, almost crystalline finish. On the nose,
fresh citrus, minerally and leesy notes abound, while the palate’s emphatic, zippy, with a generous mealy texture. The
Pouilly-Fuissé is an assembly of several different terroirs: Clos Reyssié, Clos de Mr Noly, Chevrières and Plantes Vieilles.
The vines are around 50 years old on limestone-clay. The harvest is in October when the grapes have reached full maturity
and elevage is thirty-six months on the fine lees in futs de chêne. With lovely intensity of colour the Pouilly bequeaths
aromas of white flowers, hazelnuts and grapefruit – in the mouth the wine combines richness, tension and acidity and a
sensation of powerful minerality.
MACON-CHAINTRE VIEILLES VIGNES
DOMAINE CELINE & LAURENT TRIPOZ, Mâcon – Biodynamic
All the Tripoz vineyards (11 hectares) are in or just outside of Loché, where the cellar is located. With vines on eastern
exposures rooted in clay loaded with limestone, the Céline and Laurent believe that the only way to express a sense of
terroir is to work in the most natural manner. Having been completely free of herbicides and chemicals since 2001 they
have been certified organic and biodynamic since 2006. The Cremant de Bourgogne is 100% Chardonnay from various
plots around the property. Laurent and Celine decided early on that they had to invest to make everything at the property
instead of sending their juice to a "champagnisateur." After a few years of doing two versions, one with dosage and one
without, they decided to make only one cuvee without any additions, dosage or otherwise, which has become one of the most
successful sparkling wines of the region. The Pouilly Loché "Reserve" is from vines outside the village, in the Pouilly AOC.
This wine sees a long elévage in oak for almost two years and is the domaine’s most ageworthy and complex wine.
CREMANT DE BOURGOGNE NATURE
MACON CUVEE DU CLOCHER
POUILLY-LOCHE 1ere RESERVE
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Once upon a time, dear reader, Les Vignes du Maynes (planted originally in the 10
century) belonged to the monks of the
Cluny abbey and subsequently became the property of the powerful Comtes de Montrevel (1557).
Fast forward a few centuries and Pierre Guillot
takes over the domaine and starts practising organic farming and
vinification with conviction and dynamism ever since, respecting both the consumer and nature. Today, the Domaine des
Vignes du Maynes comprises about 6.5 hectares. Facing due east, the vines benefit from the rising sun. They grow on a
terroir of a clay and limestone mixture. Avoidance of weedkiller and modest yields characterize these authentic wines
produced from Pinot Noir, Gamay and Chardonnay. From the time the grapes are picked by hand to the time the wines are
bottled neither additives nor SO2 are used.
The pressing operation is slow, carried out on wooden wine presses dating from 1895. Fermentation takes the form of
carbonic maceration over a period of ten days (Jules-Chauvet method).
All wines, regardless of creed or colour, are left on the lees in oak barrels for eleven months producing wines full of
Aragonite is white Mâcon which undergoes two strict selections. Fermentation is in barrels with wild yeast. The wine is left
on the lees and aged eleven months, without chapitalization or the addition of artificial yeast. Its striking appearance may
be described as a lovely pale gold. Initially, the nose releases voluptuous aromas of exotic fruit and white flowers (acacia).
Once it has opened up, the bouquet evolves and notes of citrus fruit and pineapple may be distinguished along with pollen,
truffle and grilled almond.
The Bourgogne Rouge is a solid citizen. Grapes for this wine are not destemmed at harvest. Thorough extraction of
colouring and aromatic substances of Pinot Noir produces a well-rounded wine with lots of personality.
Its striking colour of pomegranate invites you to discover a nose bursting with red berries and pervaded by notes of
macerated blackcurrants. On the palate, this airy, fruity wine is superbly balanced.
The Gamay grapes harvested in Mâcon-Cruzille Rouge yield approximately 38 hl/ha. The Jules Chauvet method is used for
semi-carbonic maceration, lasting thirteen days. This intense ruby red Burgundy’s nose releases spicy aromas of mango
and musk, as well as cooked cherries and delightfully juggles notes of sandalwood and an aromatic array of red berries
militates into the flavour of the wine. Stonefruit, earth, iron filings. It is sappy and stony and the acidity is nicely coiled like
a cobra about to strike.
Great White (or, in this case, a Great Red). I haven’t tasted a Pinot Noir of this mineral intensity for a very long time. It is
difficult to describe – liquidised rocks, perhaps? – cloudy cherry-red colour a natural Griotte cherries, wild strawberries,
menthol, saffron plus a fizzing bright yeasty quality. Wow – this makes 95% Burgundy taste flabby. So pure – the terroir of
MACON-CRUZILLE BLANC “ARAGONITE”
BEAUJOLAIS-LEYNES LES HAUT DE BALMONT
BEAUJOLAIS-VILLAGES “LES PIERRES BLEUES”
MACON-CRUZILLE ROUGE “MANGANITE”
MACON ROUGE “CUVEE 910”
BOURGOGNE ROUGE “AUGUSTE”
MARC DE BOURGOGNE – 50cl
LES CADOLES DE CHARDONNAY, NICOLAS & PATRICK LAUGERE, Mâcon – Organic
Also called a cabotte (hut) in the Beaune region, caborde near Auxerre, caborne in Lyon or even casèle in southern France,
the cadole describes a hut, a term from the Latin casa. These rustic buildings, although often at risk with contemporary
agricultural land being developed, remain inseparable from a typical wine-making landscape among others. Made out of
dried or bricked-up stones, the Laugeres are pleased to have these different types of buildings on their vineyards and have
restored them as a tribute to the age-old work of their ancestors. This is how the Les Cadoles de Chardonnay estate came to
be. Their uncle, Marcel, maintained the cadole that he inherited from his father-in-law, Pierre Piguet, back in 1945! Like a
sentry box, Marcel’s cadole watches over the adjoining vineyards of the place called Nécuge. Thanks to the water from the
Marcel cadole, they will never lack in wine. In tribute, they christened their first Mâcon-Chardonnay vintage “La cadole à
Marcel”. The Mâcon-Chardonnay comes from blending plots of land all planted with Chardonnay and situated on the very
uplands of the village of Chardonnay. All the maturity of these southeast-facing vines, thanks to their vantage point, is
expressed in their fruit. The plots themselves are located in Nécuge, La Luquette and La Roche. The last name indicates the
very close presence of the stone quarry of Chardonnay from which the village houses were built. Farming is pretty well
organic and the fruit is hand-harvested from 30 year old vines. The wine was fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged in
a stainless-steel vat. Typical Mâcon wine, mineral, expressive with citrus fruit and white flower notes.
MACON CHARDONNAY “LA CADOLE A MARCEL”
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GIVRY BLANC “CHAMP POURROT”
CRU BLANC “GRANDES VIGNES”
GIVRY ROUGE VIEILLES VIGNES
GIVRY ROUGE “CHAMP NALOT”
CRU ROUGE “GRANDES VIGNES”
DOMAINE JEAN-BAPTISTE PONSOT, Rully
Just a few miles south of the Côte d’Or, the village of Rully produces distinguished, elegant wines. The mineral rich
limestone soil accentuates the grapes natural acidity, making the wine fresh in youth and rich with age.
Domaine Ponsot was created in 1954 by Lucien Ponsot. The soil is worked throughout the vegetative cycle and no
herbicides are used. Yields are controlled by various measures and vineyard health is maintained by severe
debudding and canopy management (Ieaf removal to allow better photosynthesis) After the must has settled it is
transferred into barrels for the fermentation (20% of which are new) with regular batonnage for a period of three
months. It is then matured for eleven months in barrel and three months in vat before bottling. The basic Rully
Blanc is crisp and flinty with the engaging citrus fruit flavours, whilst the Montpalais reaches an extra level with
vibrant pears, minerals, and green apples sheathed in some sympathetic oak.
RULLY BLANC “EN BAS DE VAUVRY”
RULLY BLANC 1
DOMAINE BELLEVILLE, Rully
Really good Rully – really!
Chapitre is a wine of lovely finesse combined with great texture with aromas of acacia honey and cinnamon bread – try with
sea bass or rascasse (pardon my assonance). The Rabourcé with its intense golden colour with flavours of spicy yellow
fruits (pineapple and apricots) and secondary sensations of hazelnuts, almonds and violets, is a wine of great personality
and marked minerality, suggesting definite ageing potential. This structured wine would be a fine partner to lobster,
scallops or turbot.
RULLY BLANC 1
CRU “LE CHAPITRE”
RULLY BLANC 1er CRU “RABOURCE”
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MACONNAIS & CHALONNAIS
DOMAINE EMILE JUILLOT, NATHALIE & JEAN-CLAUDE THEULOT, Mercurey
Domaine Emile Juillot has been a work in progress since Nathalie and Jean-Claude Theulot combined forces to
completely overhaul practices in the vineyard and the winery. In order to improve the quality of the grapes they started
debudding in the spring, instituted a green harvest as necessary, put the grapes into small boxes, set up a triage table
to sort the grapes and started cutting down the use of herbicides and phytosanitary treatments. Equal care is taken in
vinification in order to preserve the aromatic quality of the wines. Since 2004 the estate has adopted une culture
raisonnée and further evolved vinification techniques to highlight the improved quality of grapes being harvested in
order to achieve harmony, richness and equilibrium.
Less extraction (reducing the number of pigeages), adapting the length of cuvaison, reducing the pressure, natural
settling of the musts in tank with the juice resting on the fine lees. The next development will involve pulling up some
vines and replanting to continue to improve quality while at the same time moving towards either organic or
biodynamic viticulture. The watchwords of the domaine are fruity, elegant, rich, precise and incisive. It is all about
finding fabulous grapes made in the most natural way possible.
MERCUREY ROUGE “CHATEAU MIPONT”
CRU ROUGE “LA CAILLOUTE”
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