The 3rd thursday of november is usually when the Beaujolais Nouveau of the year is poured for the first time, it has been now a "tradition" for years all over the world albeit not a very old one (1951). Let's be clear, it's still mostly a Beaujolais day but you begin to see Nouveau from other regions as well, here and there, and that's what the Caves Augé in Paris offered to passerbys and people in the know : a gorgeous tasting of a few Nouveau wines from a handful of iconic vintners (4 of them that day) who were there in person to pour the wines. But a first glance at the small crowd could make you think that there were more vintners presenting their wines than the 4 that were announced : it seems that the word had got around in the trade that you had to be at Cave Augé that day, because there seemed to be more vintners visiting from their province than Parisians.
Here among the vignerons on this picture above, only one was here to present his wines : Jean Foillard in the middle, and both Marcel Richaud (southern Rhone) and Pierre Breton (Bourgueil, Loire) were just unrepentant visitors having dropped here to enjoy a few glasses among friends.
These free sidewalk tastings at Caves Augé are always a pleasure, they're at the same time serious in the sense that it's always about good wine but there's nothing ostentatious in the event and people, including the participating vintners and the visiting sommeliers, obviously have a good time. Plus, Marc Sibard (pictured right) the caviste who runs the shop, often opens a couple of unscheduled bottles that come as a surprise when you happen to be around the small group with whom he shares it...
The splendid Xeres had the following info on its label : Amontillado Tradicion - 30 Anos - Botella No 835 / 1700 / 1/9 [hand written] - Bodegas Tradicion S.L. Plaza Cordobeses 3, Jerez, Spain
I was almost forgetting to tell about Jean-Christophe Comor wine : it's a cuvée named A Ma Guise, a Vin de France (table wine) with a nice freshness and a good aromatic palette that I have a hard time to describe (after the Xeres it was a bit arduous), maybe something related to garrigue. I bought a few bottles from the 2011 vintage of A ma Guise last summer as Jean-Christophe Comor still had a few bottles and this was a pleasure to drink (I still have a couple of bottles), proving that Nouveau wine can be had a few months lather than the time of the planned release. I remember I paid 8 € a bottle at the winery in Laroquebrussanne, Var (Provence).
Jean Foillard wines were poured from magnums that day, and by the way I remember that I bought a couple of magnums from him in a similar tasting a couple years ago and I'm thinking that it would be nice to open them one of these days, my Frigidaire wine fridge having probably kept them in perfect condition. Foillard Nouveau had a nice bitterness with aromas of cherry, cherry stone and dust. Not that on the fruit for a Nouveau, might benefit from waiting a few months.
Jean-François Nick is the man behind Les Foulards Rouges, one of the earliest winery working in the natural wine philosophy. Jean-François Nick is also the man who previously turned the Coop of Estezargues near Nimes into the first coop in France making parcel cuvées and natural wine from organic vineyards. The Primeur cuvée from les Foulards Rouges that day was named Octobre, it was a Vin de France (table wine) 2012, a fresh and rather balanced wine.
On this picture you can see one of the vintners' trucks parked in front of the wine shop, they all came with their pallets, delivering their customers across Paris on the same occasion, and there were at least three of these white trucks parked in front of the wine shop. Keep in mind that these artisans really do most of the hard work themselves. I fell myself one day upon Jean Foillard unloading his wine in Paris, and an ususpecting passerby would have surely mistaken him for a delivery man.