August 9, 2019
Domaine Vetriccie Ile de Beauté Corsican Rosé 2018
This domaine has been in the same family since 1966. The sustainably farmed vineyards are spread across 120 hectares in the AOP Vin de Corse, ideally situated between the sea and the mountains. This rosé is a blend of Niellucciu, Sciaccarellu, Grenache, and Merlot, picked at night to preserve freshness. It’s easy-drinking, anytime, bang-for-your-buck wine full or citrus, red berried, and crisp acidity. Perfect for backyard parties, picnics, and secretly sipping on the seashore.
La Tour Saint Martin “Fumet” 2017, Menetou-Salon, Loire
Situated just southwest of Sancerre, Menetou-Salon is often viewed as a satellite to its more famous neighbor. The rolling vineyards are upon the same Kimmeridgian limestone as Sancerre, and the similarities of terroir are so much so that many well-known producers in Sancerre also tend vines of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir here. Sometimes telling the difference between a glass of Sancerre and a glass of Menetou-Salon can be a challenge even to the pros.
Bertrand Minchin comes from a family that tended orchards and cereal crops. He became passionate about wine when he returned from his studies in 1987 and decided to restore and replant the vineyards of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir that his grandfather had planted. These vines and his family’s farmstead became La Tour Saint Martin in 1994, with the construction of a winery and his first vintage of Menetou-Salon. La Tour Saint Martin is currently 17 hectares with 10 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc and 7 of Pinot Noir.
Fumet is from 30 year old-vines on Bertrand’s most Kimmeridgian soil in the village of Morogues. He treats his Fumet like a top Sancerre by fermenting it in oak vats and aging the wine for 10 months in foudre and French oak barrels. This wine is beautiful, with spring flowers on the nose and rich fleshy fruit on the palate, all balanced by taut minerality and citrus-zest acidity.
Domaine Puech-Redon “Pour de Vrai” Vin de France Sparkling Wine, Languedoc, France
Importer Louis/Dressner was introduced to Domaine Puech-Reudon by Eric Texier, who as of 2017 was helping proprietor Cyril Cuche make “unpretentious, un-sulfured wines from his meticulously farmed land.”
Puech-Redon is a 380 hectare property (large by any measure) split between 200h of cereals, 52h of vines, and over 100h of woods and garrigues. The land belonged to Cyril’s grandfather, who acquired it after WWII; Cyril’s father farmed it conventionally for 30 years. When Cyril took the reins about 20 years ago, he decided to convert to organic farming and prioritize biodiversity, a choice he explains here:
“It was a choice I imposed on myself. Besides the incredible bore of working conventionally, with it’s by the book itineraries traced step by step by lobbyists for large phytosanitary corporations, I wanted to prove that within organics, you could work in poly-culture on a large surface and still be profitable. I learned to feed the soil and not the plant, I reclaimed the link that unifies the farmer to his land. The vines have been worked organically since 2008, and the cereals since 2010. Over the last decade I’ve been able to observe the immense consequences of such work. The effect of a culture without chemicals on such a large surface is truly impressive: for the soil, the plant but even more so the animals that had deserted us slowly coming back to our lands.”
2017 was the first vintage of Pour de Vrai, a pet-nat from Cinsault and the indigenous Aramon. It’s spontaneously fermented with indigenous yeast, with no additives, and is bottled unfiltered and unfined; sulfur is very low, at 25mg/L.
Domaine des Miquettes Syrah Vin de Franc 2015, Rhone, France
Domaine des Miquettes is a 5-hectare property created by Paul Estève and Chrystelle Vareille in 2003 in the small village of Cheminas, located on a high plateau in the southern part of the Saint Joseph appellation. Paul and Chrystelle took over the farm from Paul’s family and turned one of the small farm buildings into a low-tech wine-making facility. They planted one hectare of Syrah and one of Viognier, which are classified as Vin de Pays des Coteaux de L’Ardèche. Paul had been working 3 hectares in Saint Joseph, so when the owner retired, Paul and Chrystelle took over that property as well, which was planted to mostly Syrah and a tiny bit of Marsanne. These vineyards are high in the hills, at an altitude of about 350 meters, planted on steep hillsides of granite and micaschist. The vineyards, both in Saint Joseph and the Coteaux de L’Ardèche, are certified as organic farms, and are worked throughout the year with either a tractor or horse drawn plough. All harvesting is done by hand and the fermentations occur with natural yeasts and little or no temperature adjustments.
This Syrah is from vines outside the St. Joseph AOC, on granite soils planted at 400m. The 1 hectare vineyard is plowed by horse. The wine is vinified in stainless steel with a 3 week maceration. It’s bottled with zero sulfur, and is unfined and unfiltered. It’s redolent of graphite, black pepper, purple olives, and violets.