After a pause of maybe one year and a half (exactly since october 2009), Pierre Jancou is back on the wine & gastronomy scene in Paris with his new venue which he named rightfully Vivant (alive in French), a very good alternative for real or natural food/wine. Each time Pierre creates a restaurant/wine bar (it’s never clear which side of the two his places are tilting the most, by the way), Paris gains another natural-wine spot, and that’s a good way for us not to be too sorry when he decides to hang up and disappear for a while in the French provinces.
Since he left Racines (his second creation after la Crèmerie), Pierre Jancou retreated to the Drome département in the Rhone region where he finished his country house where his wife and children now live. This pause allowed him to enjoy his three children who are aged between 4 and a half and 14 and a half. He also worked for a TV channel (France 5) for a few months, preparing food live for celebs, this was fun and cool he says. He also finished writing a book (titled Vin Vivant, see cover on the right) for the Editions Alternatives (Charlotte Gallimard) where he explains in length the difference between the conventional wines, the organic wines, the natural wines and what he calls the living wines (vins vivants or wines that are alive), wines that (in addition to be additives free) didn’t get any added SO2, even for bottling. In this book he profiles 12 vignerons who make such living wines, each recounting their own experience and challenges. Further in the book, he also lists 150 other vignerons which he likes even though they’re not fully into this living-wine thing. The book should be available by next september (see link above to Amazon).
There’s a glass panel on the ground on the side between the bar and the dining room (see picture on left), which opens on a steep stairwell going down to the cellar, which a relatively-large 25-square-meter room where Pierre will store the bottles of his selected vignerons. The cellar will be temperature-regulated in summer for his fragile wines and he’ll keep also in a corner the artisanal food and the meat in a special refrigerated cabinet. The cool-maintained cellar will be good for his additives-free wines, some being SO2 free and some getting light doses of it, these wine needing a proper storage to the consumer end.
There’s a good chance that later in the year Pierre opens a shop next door to Vivant where you’ll be able to buy the wines and the Italian charcuterie, cheeses, pepper and other artisanal food, and there may be also room for a couple of tables there.
I may be tempted to try this coffee next time I visit Vivant, in spite of the fact that I’m not an amateur of expresso coffee (I’m sometimes ashamed to admit it). Usually, I prefer what we use to call an American coffee because in the morning I like to drink quietly a large cup or two of coffee, and espresso would be way too strong for that. I don’t look for a strong taste at that time of the day, just a resonable amount of coffeine and an easy drink without blowing up my nerves. Also, if I drink an espresso after 10 am or 11 am, there are chances that I have trouble getting asleep in the evening...
Speaking of the meat products, it will still be exclusive-quality ones but he will not buy it to Hugo Desnoyer, he now buys the meat directly from the producer in the French provinces.
People have been arriving at Vivant, I saw Bertrand Auboyneau of the bistrot Paul Bert (pictured above), but I missed Hirotake who arrived after I left. Hirotake Ooka is an excellent winemaker from the Rhone (Saint Péray) whose sulphur-free white wines will be available at Vivant. At one point, I was listening to the happy crowd sipping my glass when I heard some one laughing loud, saying how enjoyable it was to take a leak on the vineyard of the Romanée Conti. Don’t ever imagine you’ll know who boasted doing that, but if I had a subscription section at Wineterroirs, this prime information would be reserved for its purple pages...