You have on this picture quite a nice bunch of winemakers and if all your cellar stock was sourced among these guys you would be sure to have suddenly many new friends dropping home for a glass...
Pierre Breton, Jean Foillard, Bruno Duchêne, Hervé Villemade and René Mosse were finishing their casual lunch when I visited the winery tasting with a Japanese friend who lives in Paris. Fifi of Ten Bells (the New-York wine bar), whom I didn't recognize immediately, was also among them (the bald guy on the right), enjoying as he told me later a week-end in the Loire. I was not sure he was serious, somehow going from New York to Les Montils for a weekend seemed to me like going on the other side of the world for a weekend...
So, this is another open doors in a winery, but this time, this free tasting was organized by two wineries : the Puzelat brothers (plus Thierry's associate Bonhomme) where the event took place, and Hervé Villemade whose wine farm is a few kilometers away. It used to be that the two wineries had their yearly portes ouvertes (open doors) separately, each inviting 5 or 6 same-minded artisan vignerons. But they thought it made more sense to do it together (the two wineries are so closed from each other), not only to share the costs, but it would be more fun, and each bringing his guest vignerons, there would be more opportunities for exchange (I mean, exchanges like the ones above, there's no better way to learn from your fellow vignerons...). Hervé Villemade whose open doors were set in december, will now in return invite Puzelat/Bohnomme and their guests, and you'll have another opportunity to drive to this nice corner of Sologne.
The participating vignerons were : Pierre Breton, Christian Chaussard (didn't see him though), Bruno Duchêne, Jean Foillard, Jean-Sébastien Gioan, René Mosse, Jean-François Nicq, Pascal Potaire & associate Moses Gadouche, Nicolas Vauthier and Hervé Villemade, Thierry & Jean-Marie Puzelat and Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme.
I think we began with the wines of Hervé Villemade. He wasn't at his stand (still outside with his buddies), and we helped ourselves. I'm always inspired by his wines, his sulfur-free whites are vibrant and alive, simply delicious. After tasting a couple of wines from Clos du Tue-Boeuf, we had a few glasses of Les Foulards Rouges (Jean-François Nicq) and from Yoyo, a vigneronne also named Laurence Manya Krief, with whom JF Nicq is working but who has also her own small wine farm (1,5 hectare) in Banyuls. We first tasted La Negra, a table wine 2011 made from Carignan old vines (60 years) at Les Foulards Rouges (from vineyards co-owned with Yoyo). Then we tasted Yoyo's KM 31, a Vin de France (table wine) 2011 made from 100-year-old Grenache/Carignan with yields of 7 hectoliters/hecare. No added SO2 at all. The nose is impressive and inspiring, and when I looked at the color and its visual texture, I knew that this wine was going to be great. The turbid wine has a fresh, fruity mouth and gets down easily. Costs 16 € for a 75 cl bottle (we were poured from a magnum).
__ Paris Trouillas rouge (red) vin de France (table wine) 2011. Carignan (70 %) Grenache Gris (20 %) and Syrah (10 %. 13 °. Carbonic maceration without punching of the cap. 8 €.
__ Potron Minet La Berlue 2010. Côtes du Roussillon. 100 % Grenache.
__¨Potron Minet Paris Trouillas blanc (white) , Vin de France 2011. Muscadelle & Grenache Blanc. Nice fresh mouth, with very ripe aromas. Like that. Costs 8 €.
__ Potron Minet Paris Trouillas rosé, Vin de France 2011. 80 % Carignan (direct press) and 20 % Grenache. Onion-peel color (pale). Nice wine. Costs 8 €.
Lastly, I tasted a Chilean wine from Louis-Antoine Luyt, Cauquenes 2010, a red made from Carignan (picture on right). 13,7 ° in alcohol. Region located north of Santiago. The label says "pure grape juice * nature * unfiltered * 8,5 Richter", as the area went through an earthquake of this scale a few months ago. The wine is powerful and maybe a bit burning in the mouth. I heard about the man who is said to make very nice wine in Chile. This was a quick tour made at the end of our visit and I'll have to taste these wines more thoroughly.