Ste Genevieve Extra Brut – Clos de Vignes du Maynes (2012)
Grape Variety(s): Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gamay Style: Brut Sparkling
Region: Macon Cruzille, France
Winemaker: Julien Guillot Soil: Clay/Limestone
Age of Vines: 25 – 40yrs
You just learned about about Julien and his operation last month when we brought you a wonderful natural Beaujolais from purchased fruit near his village. This time, it’s one of favorite wines in the entire book, Julien’s sparkling Burgundy, with all fruit from his Clos.
As a reminder, Julien is the 3rd generation winemaker in his family based in an area in southern Burgundy near the town of Macon. His farm was originally started in year 910 by Cluny Monks and was long since a location for growing grapes. Almost incredibly, the land has never been treated with chemicals, leading Julien to believe that he is based on the oldest organically farmed vineyard in France!
The Ste Genevieve Extra Bruit is a masterpiece. I could say it is “Champagne-like,” which it is, but at the same time it is very much its own wine, a sparkling wine from Southern Burgundy that’s incredibly delicious and complex. The fruit is a blend of Chardonnay, Gamay, and Pinot Noir...not exactly a conventional sparkling wine blend! All from the 2012 vintage, the fruit direct pressed, is aged in barrel for about a year, and then without any sugar additions, goes into the bottle and ferments and ages on the lees (dead yeast cells) for another 30 months...making for flavor depth, a creamy profile, and more structure. The wine was then disgorged (yeasts and sediment removed from bottle) earlier this year. Drink this wine with anything...I like it with Charcuterie...or anything. So delicious.
Poudre d’Escampette – Casot des Mailloles (2014)
Grape Variety(s): Grenache, Carignan, Mourvedre Style: Dry Red
Region: Trouillas, Roussillon, France
Winemaker: Alain Castex Soil: Schist
Age of Vines: 75-100+ yrs
A magical wine of which we receive only a few cases each year. Alain Castex was producing some of the most interesting wines in the Roussillon. Unfortunately, he temporarily retired after the 2014 vintage due to family issues. That said, he went out on an extraordinary high note.
With old vines perched on steep cliffs high above the blue waters of the Mediterranean, farming is done all by hand, not by philosophy, but out of necessity. The work is slow, tedious, and extremely inefficient. On top of that, Alain’s near 100 year old vines are sparsely planted and yield extremely little fruit. Where most vigernons would have long abandoned the site or replanted new vines, Alain (and we!) find the wines made as a result of the unique terrior along with organic and hand tended vineyard are rich in expression and character.
The 2014 Poudre d’Escampette is aged for one year in old barrels and then bottled unfiltered and unfined. Lots of spice notes and dark fruit highlight this special wine. Enjoy with any kind of beef...I’m thinking burgers or braised short ribs with a rich sauce.