Arbois Trousseau 2018, Domaine Fumey-Chatelain (Lisja)
Jura is hot – since the 1990s some fanatic producers renounced sulfites, pesticides, filtration, and other artificial interventions; most Jura producers have followed footsteps. Pierre Overnoy, Jacques Puffeney, Michel Houillon, JF Ganevat a series of big names, who have made this small wine region in the east of France to the most coveted on the wine list. Besides the fact that biodynamics has become the benchmark and wines breathe terroir, the Jura also has some interesting, indigenous grape varieties. For red, these are Poulsard and Trousseau. Trousseau is a grape with a bite and flinty mineral structure. This version of Marin Fumey is refreshing and elegant. The Jura producers nickname the grape the Diva because this variety requires the best exposition to excel. Too little sun or not the right soil composition? And the grape will not ripen well. Only 5% of Trousseau is planted in Jura, but it is considered the noble red of the region. Drink slightly chilled with just a big chunk of Comté.
Vermell 2019, Cap de Nit, Alicante (Bart)
Vermell – Vermilion – brilliant red from the beautiful hillside area of Marina Alta, Alicante (Lliber, Xaló, Alcallalí and Beniss). On the one side are green hills, which protect the vineyards against the heat of the interior and on the other side the Mediterranean coast breathes over the vineyards with its cool winds. The very small and innovative domain of Cap de Nit produces a small number of natural cuvées of Moscatel (white) and Giró (red). The young German winemakers harvest grapes from their own old dry-farmed bush vines or collect from local farmers. The aromatic Moscatel gets some time on the skins and matures on Amphora and the red Giró becomes a digestible, elegant red wine with intense red cherry fruit. The Vermell can be compared to a red Burgundy with a soft, southern touch. Extraordinarily surprising wine from an unexpected region. Drink a bit chilled with, dried hams or meaty pulpo with piment d’espelette.
Cuvée des Gueux Blanc 2018, Domaine Adrien Berlioz, Chignin Savoie (Michiel)
Did you know that incomparable crystal-clear wines are made in Savoie? A small number of organic growers such as our Adrien Berlioz and his cousin Gilles Berlioz produce biodynamic wine from scary steep, stony slopes. Rugged wines from the Alps made of very low yields. Savoie, summ it up as transparent, clean, minimalist white and structured, spicy red. Cuvée de Gueux (galopin wine) is a combination of local Jacquère and Altesse – 50-year-old crops on argilo-calcaire soils. Very low yield provide for a concentrated, plump white wine with a pronounced tight minerality. We suggest drinking this wine with an Alpine dish, such as Pizzoccheri (Buckwheat pasta with green cabbage and melted red floral mountain cheese such as Taleggio).
Sainte Marie 2017 AOP Limoux J.L. Denois (Casper)
Jean-Louis Denois backgrounds from Champagne growers. When he was old enough to spread his wings, the adventure beckoned. He was recruited by the South African Boschendal and made the domain’s first Cap Classic there. Back in France, Denois settled in Limoux in southern France. It was a historic wine region where sparkling wines were produced even before the world threw itself on Champagne (Blanquette de Limoux – 1544). His very special non-sparkling Chardonnay from the Sainte Marie vineyard is less noticeable due to the success of the sparkling wines. This plot in Roquetaillade contains some of the oldest Chardonnay vines in the area. These are cool vineyards on gently sloping slopes with lime-clay soils. The base provides filling and creaminess. An exceptional Chardonnay from the Languedoc that can compete with the big boys in Burgundy. Pair with classic Homard Thermidor or langoustines topped with beurre noisette.
Toison d’Or 2016 (Pinot Gris) Domaine Les Poëte, Vin Noble de Reuilly (Floris)
Toison d’Or – The mythical Golden Fleece. You can rightly this wine a well-kept treasure. This unique Pinot Gris from the Loire, made by up-and-coming talent Guillaume Sorbe, is unexpected and exciting. Sorbe may not yet be a household name among the public, but his name buzzes in the corridors of Paris amongst journalists and influential tasters. This elegant, yet powerful and spicy Pinot Gris is made from three tiny plots in the commune of Reuilly. Very low yields from only 22 to max 45 hl/ha. The wine is aged for at least one year in used barrels of 400 to 600 litres. The Toison d’Or 2016 is ready to be enjoyed but also has the potential to remain in the bottle for another 10 years. This is a wine for a memorable dinner with, for example, roast Bresse chicken and truffle.
Clos du Val d’Éléon 2018, Marc Kreydenweiss (Justin)
Kreydenweiss is a stunner of a domain and its Clos du Val d’Éléon is a flagship. This Clos is a micro vineyard of just 0.1 ha on a pure blue slate where Riesling and Pinot Gris are planted side by side. This wine pays homage to the lost Alsatian ‘Gentil’ tradition (aka Edelzwicker and Gemischter Satz). The Riesling and Pinot Gris are harvested, pressed, and fermented together. The completely dry wine is aged for 18 months in large foudres. Thanks to big names such as Marcel Deiss and Albert Boxler, there is a reappraisal for this long-lost Alsatian tradition. The Clos du Val d’Éleon with the spicy, viscous structure of the Pinot Gros and the invigorating mineral acids of the Riesling is a complex unicorn. A collector’s item that can age in the bottle for many years. A wine that deserves a special moment. Savour it next to your generous Choucroute Garni or enjoy sipping it with a tasty Munster cheese on your side.