The Cave des Papilles is a very resourceful wine shop where you find can artisan wines made with the best ethic, beginning with cuvées costing a mere 5 €. Paris has now a good number of such wine shops (I'd say a few dozens) selling mostly natural wines, these wines made without any additives or tricky correction, if only occasionally with homeopatic doses of SO2
Some of these shops have a pleasant soul that make a tasting there very pleasant, and this is the case with the Cave des Papilles. I'll try to go to other wine shops as well in the next few months to share these nice tasting experiences where you can meet the vigneron and relax sipping their wine.
The wine shop is located on rue Daguerre which has a pleasant pedestrian section (video on the left), an open-air commecial stretch where you can shop for meat, cheese, fish and other stuff or sit at a terrace. There are by the way a few other wine shops there, although not of the quality of the Papilles (but it's always good to check there are certainly good values, for the Papilles you need to walk to the non pedestrian section, you can't miss it it's the golden yellow shop at a corner.
Brendan has been selling his wines in this wine shop since 2011, it's the first Paris wine shop where he had his wines, thanks to Pascal Simonutti who also sold his wines here.
The first wine that I tasted there was the cuvée Rue de la Soif (nice label, which helps) 2012, as I only tasted the still-fermenting 2013. Very good sauvignon, different from the usual cat-pee version, it's liquid food, a balanced and generous wine where the lees have kept the wine vivid and alive. Unfiltered wine. I may have forgottent to underline this point in my recent report but Brendan bottles his wines only in colorless "white" bottles (except for the long-aging romorantin) so that you're not cheated on the color and the turbidity, and I must admit that while I usually don't like too much the neutral-glass bottles, it doesn't upset me here. I must confess that I'm among the people who get exccited by an occasional turbidity, my reaction being, here is a wine that has been left with a chance to exchange with its solid sediments, its haze.
I asked Brendan about the making of this sauvignon, and he said that first, what is important here is the maturity : in 2012 there was a nice late season with sun before the harvest time, and also not too much disease pressure and thanks to that all he could pick the grapes almosr just before the grapes fell by themselves on the ground. His idea here was to find the expression of the fruit side. It was hand picked of course, the parcel, which planted with old vines, is also located in Saint Julien de Chédon along the Cher river, further south in the Loire region. The grapes were transported in cranes and he made a direct press, and the fermentation and élevage took place in old barrels which he got from Thierry Puzelat. The winemaking took longer than usual because in 2012 the indigenous yeasts were not hurried (he adds that all the winemakers who rely only on wild yeast witnessed the same slow pace that year). It was only in late july that the sugar was all gone and that the sauvignon was ready, and after a racking he ended up bottling it only early september, which is not so long ago actually.
The wine is also available in the shop in magnums (picture on right), the Caves des Papilles being by the way very well stocked in magnums from what I guess would be your favorite winemakers, a few dozens different cuvées.
Toward the end of this short video above, you can spot a few magnums among the wide selection of the shop, the cave des Papilles offering a few dozens of them, all natural wines.
Pascal is a biker and came from his Loire home on his Ducati. He first found a secure place for his helmet in a warm corner (I also came by bike to the shop but left mine chained to the bike). We talked about our respective itinerary from the Loire to Paris (I'm not going to the same Loire sub-region but it's still interesting to know). As I wrote in a previous post, Pascal and Brendan are playing music together regularly and they're very active on the Blois/Villebarou scene.
Pascal and Brendan know each other for a long time, and music was the cement. Pascal is 10 years younger than Pascal and they became friends from the time Brendan was still working in the local radio and was giving concerts with his punk-rock band. Pascal Simonutti made his first wine in 1997.
Pascal has his own two cuvées 2012 which are not yet bottled, he waits a crip winter cold to come for the optimum bottling time. Tere will be only gamay and sauvignon, from purchased grapes, he didn't make any pineau d'aunis in 2012 (the vintage was pretty difficult for many growers). The sauvignon is from massal selections growing on a stony terroir, he is optimistic in the resulting wine.
Notice the two books on the counter, they're the best sellers this season on the French natural-wine scene : Tronches de Vin, a guide and profile of a hundred of rebel winemakers, and Mimi, Fifi & Glouglou, an hilarious comics featuring 3 friends who are blind-tasting their favorite wines (which happen to be wines that you probably know). You can find several of the book's mini stories on Glougueule, and if you read French, you'll love them. See here this page or also this other one, you don't need to fully understand French...
With the white, colorless glass that Brenda uses for all his cuvées, you get a clear picture of the color nuances. This wine is still in barrels (about 12 years old) right now but the pinot tastes already very well and Brendan says that he will be bottle it next spring, especially that he has little wine left to sale (the output from 2012 being very limited in volume).