Gilles Manzoni (picture above on right) is an up-and-coming wine dealer who works in Paris without street shop. He delivers the wines of his portfolio to restaurants and individuals and has developed close-knit relations with some of the most valuable artisan vintners in the country. He organized this one-day tasting in a quiet street of the 19th arrondissement in Paris near the Buttes-Chaumont Park, and the professionals and the public alike were welcome. Que du Bon (only good stuff), the name of the restaurant (which serves good food and natural wines) where this event took place, could be appropriate for the wines. By the way, this wine bar/restaurant inthe 19th is another good wine spot out of the beaten path and it deserves a visit. The weather being fair that sunday, the tasting tables were spread all over on the sidewalks facing the restaurant. This tasting where you could also buy the wines was a real success, lots of people, fun, and the valuable plus to speak with the vignerons. And the good thing in the city is that you can move afterwards without fearing a breath test, first because of the Métro and second because the breath alcohol test are actually very rare in the city. Well, ahem, I still drove my motorcycle that evening in spite of the 34 wines that I tasted, but you know, I spit as often as I could (don't count on me to say which wine I spit and which I didn't)...
Thierry Puzelat from the Loire (center-left on the picture above, naturally tanned by his work in the vineyard), introduced me to his sister, who lives in Paris and is not into wine...
__Thierry Puzelat, Touraine "Brin de Chèvre" 2007. White wine, Menu Pineau. Too much talk, no more notes here...
__Hervé Villemade (Cheverny, Loire) Cuvée Domaine 2008 white. 70% Sauvignon, 30% Chardonnay. Bottled 2 days after this tasting. 3 grams residual sugar, he put a bit of SO2 here to prevent a restarting of the fermentation in the bottles. Nice.
__Hervé Villemade, la Bodice 2006. 2006 is a vintage with a big maturity and a relatively low acidity. The wine got back some freshness by itself recently and is tasting fine. 1 gram of SO2 at bottling, which will disappear entirely.
__Thierry Puzelat, Touraine "Thésée" 2007, from vineyards located in Thésée in the Cher valley east of Tours and belonging to Alain Courtault and Bruno Allion. Not a typical Sauvignon on the nose. Pleasant wine in the mouth. Thierry Puzelat says that 2008 will be a superb vintage, he feels that since the harvest. Very straight like 2007 but in addition, lots of everything, acidity, power etc...
Jean Foillard's table is right near the door. He came with his wife Agnès and friends come and go, this is a small tasting event but with lots of conviviality and casual manners.
__Jean Foillard, Côte de Py 2007. This Gamay was bottled in august 2008. Very nice mouth indeed, fruit, power. Not too young ?, he asks. For me it's alrerady so pleasant now, but I guess he knows what this wine can yield in a few more years...
__Jean Foillard, Fleurie 2006. Longer mouth, here. Not the same vintage, he says. This 2006 wine went through a long evolution already. Very beautiful.
__Domaine Valette, Macon-Villages 2006. Chardonnay. Very nice acidity. Comes from a clay/limestone and clay/silica terroir. This particular wine was filtered. Young vines (20 years). Minerality and freshness is what I think to when I taste this wine. 13 Euro.
__Domaine Valette, Viré-Cléssé 2003. Chardonnay. Unfiltered. Clay/limestone soil. No SO2 during the vinification and during the first year of the elevage.22 Euro. Very nice mouth, I tell him, and he says that the mushroom, underwood, humus aromas here come from the autolysis. This year was the heat-wave year and everyone was anxious and wanteed to harvest early. He personally never rely on lab analysis and trust only his palate, tasting regularly the grapes. He happened to leave for vacations august 4th and hadn't harvested. When he came back on the 21st, he tasted the grapes again and felt sharp asperities in the palate so he decided to wait more. He harvested sept 2 (or 9 ?, bad handwritting...), which made the usual 100-day lapse between blossom and harvest. Anyway, he was right to wait.
__Domaine Valette, Pouilly-Vinzelles 2005. Bottled 2 weeks ago. Nice wine. Has been taking its time and refermented now and then.
__Domaine Valette, Pouilly-Fuissé 2005. Nose : elder flower for this Chardonnay. 25,5 Euro. My note-taking application is disturbed by the arrival at our table of Marcel Richaud who shoots pictures with his camera [picture below]. I'd like to see the results as he has been shooting quite a lot around, plus, I should be in the frame is several pictures...
__Antoine Arena, Patrimonio, les Hauts de Carco 2008. White wine. Very aromatic.Vermentino (Rolle). Bottled a month ago. The vineyards of this estate lie at an altitude from 50 meters to 180 meters, with the sea in the proximity. 13,5°. Relatively high in alcohol, very pleasant mouth though. 19,5 Euro.
__Antoine Arena, Patrimonio Cuvée O 2008. Zero SO2. Red fruits. Nielluccio. Strong tannic feel in the mouth. This wine needs some more time. 18 Euro.
Here we are at Marcel Richaud's table, he is back and has left his camera aside. He has brought one of the most intriguing wine spit-bucket that I've ever seen, see the picture at the top left. The potentially-most-shocking spit bucket that day was the white one below at Mouressipe, if you know what use this bowl had in the first half of the 20th century in France.
__Marcel Richaud, Côtes du Rhone, Terre de Galets 2007. Very nice red, intense and concentrated. Quite high in alcohol (14,5°) but not burning. Grenache (majority), Syrah, Carignan, Mourvèdre. Cooked red-fruits aromas, clafoutis (morello-cherry cake). 25 Euro.
__Marcel Richaud, Côtes du Rhône Cairanne 2007. Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Carignan. Jell red fruits, eucalyptus. 16°, that is a Côtes du Rhône indeed and it would be better to eat something with it.
__Marcel Richaud, Cairanne, L'ebrescade 2006. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre. Terroir on slopes, low yields. Good balance, beautiful mouth, even without food. Alive and warmful. 14,5°. 25 Euro.
__Marcel Richaud, Vin de Table. Thirst wine, lightly perly. Lots of life and happiness, this is the kind of simple, but rejoicing wine that only the artisan vintners can do, in my opinion. Not on the list, but the public price will be about 6 or 7 Euro.
__Domaine Mouressipe, Vin de Table du Gard, Cuvée Galéjade (Rosé). Estate in Saint-Côme-et-Maruéjols, west of Nîmes. Lightly sugary. Candy aromas. Cinsault (50%), Grenache (25%), Syrah (25%). Zero fining, zero additive, only a light filtration, but it's still lightly turbid. 9,5 Euro.
__Domaine Mouressipe, Vin de Table du Gard, Cuvée Plan Plan (a red). 100% Syrah. No Appellation because the vineyard is stuck in a no-appellation's land between the Costières-de-Nîmes and the Coteaux-du-Languedoc. He doesn't care anyway, he says. Nose very on the red-fruits side. 12,5° only. How did he do that ? he harvested in several runs the same vineyard. 10,5 Euro.
__Domaine Mouressipe, Vin de Pays de la Vaunage, Cuvée Tracassier (another red). 100% Syrah (2008). That is something... Intensity with lots of things inside, also a nearly saline side in the mouth. Short elevage in wood, from october to march. He has been doing this cuvée for the second year. Very beautiful. 12,5 Euro.
__Georges Descombes, Régnié 2007. Nose on the cooked red fruits. Mouth : I began to write some thing but the chat probably interrupted my comments...
__Georges Descombes, Brouilly Vieilles Vignes (old vines) 2006. "et vous m'en direz des nouvelles", he says, meaning, I'd like to know what you think of this one. That's true, very nice wine. This vintage is already perfect to drink and he adds that in addition it was almost ready in the very first months. The 2005 in comparison was longer to come. The empty glass reveals a nice range of aromas.
Domaine Jean-Sebastien Gioan, from the Languedoc :
__Paris Trouillas, white Vin de Table. Trouillas is the name of a village. Muscat and Macabeo. Fruity. Jean Sébastien is setting up his winery, he worked with Jean-François Nick (Vignerons d'Estézargues) who takes part to this tasting event too. 9,5 Euro.
__Paris Trouillas, red Table Wine. Carignan with a bit of Syrah. Quite clear. Pepper on the nose. 13° like the white (not too high). On the market since december 2008, like the white. 9,5 Euro.
__Côtes du Roussillon, Roulé Boulé 2008. Syrah majority plus a bit of grenache. Darker color. Cooked fruits. Tannins. 11,5 Euro.
Now, Les Foulards Rouges (Jean-François Nick, the man who started the atypical Coop Les Vignerons d'Estézargues).
__ Les Foulards Rouges, la Soif du Mal, white Table Wine, 2008. Macabeu, small clusters. B. Arrived and she tasted at some other tables, we share this glass here.
Les Foulards Rouges, Grenache (written in arabic). Carbonic maceration and clusters kept in the cold after harvest. Whole clusters, no punching at all. Nice concentration in this wine.
__Les Foulards Rouges, les Glaneuses 2008, red Table wine. Grenache and Syrah. Carbonic maceration. Has been racked and is now in vats (from which this bottle has been filled). Still closed and on its reserve, according to Jean-François Nick. Very fruity, I love this mouth. B. finds a lactic side that unsettles her. 2008 is a cold year with less alcohol, 1° less. 13°, very low yields.
__Les Foulards Rouges, Frida. This one is rather high in alcohol for me. Aromas of very-ripe red fruits. Destemmed grapes. Old Carignan vines (80 years) and Grenache. Very-cold-temp vinification to avoid excessive extraction. Not bottled yet. Tannins are there but it's fine, they are not overwhelming. Public price will be 13 Euro.
Back at Puzelat's table, now, for lighter reds :
Puzelat "Le P'tit Tannique Coule Bien", meaning the Titanic sinks well or the low tannic [wine] flows well... I've never heard of this cuvée but the Puzelat brothers have been doing it for 10 years; they have so many cuvées, that's amazing. Gamay-based wine, with 15% Grolleau. That's good...7,5 Euro
__Puzelat, In Cot we Trust. Cot (Malbec) of course. Fruit, pepper. Not tannic for a Cot.
Now, Hervé Villemade again :
__Hervé Villemade, Domaine du Moulin rouge 2008. Pinot Noir and Gamay. Terroir of sand and flint stone (silex). Vinified in Grenier wooden vats of course. Half destemmed grapes, half whole clusters. Foot stomped. Very nice mouth.
__ Hervé Villemade, Les Ardilles 2007. Clay (light clays) and silex stones. More Pinot Noir (80%) than Gamay here. Superb nose, intensity. Les Ardilles is again and again, to my opinion, a great wine... Floral notes, elegant wine. Stomped with the feet in the morning in the Grenier vats, and tasted in the evening, day after day.
__Hervé Villemade, Pivoine 2008, Vin de Pays du Loir-et-Cher. Côt. He makes this cuvée since 2006. Bottled end of april. A bit of gaz. He de-gazes the wine with one part with racking under plain air and the other part under a neutral gaz (Argon). He uses also micro-porous porcelain.
The owner of Que du Bon shows up and asks which wine is the better on the tables around for the oysters (one of the tables serves oysters). Someone answers, the Macon-Villages Chard of Domaine Valette.
Again, I lacked tim to taste at all the tables and I missed Champagne Emmanuel Lassaigne, Christian Binner (Alsace), and Clos Fantine (Faugères).