Veronique Perrin is a life force that projects the energy of more lives than one. Carrying forth the Perrin legacy and name, in 2010 Veronique abandoned the world as she knew it to devote herself wholly to Domaine Roger Perrin when her brother Luc passed away. As one star paves a path for another in the sky, it was Luc who rose quickly to fame in Chateauneuf du Pape when he left his apprenticeship at Beaucastel to take his father’s place who then, in 1986, had suddenly passed away. With the same strength and concentration as the Grenache vines that were planted outside the winery by Roger’s stepfather in 1903, Veronique manages the estate, while her son Xavier prepares to take over as the 3rd generation to make wine at Roger Perrin. Read more
“It’s atypical of what’s being done in California,” said Rosemary Cakebread of her latest release from Gallica, 2011 ‘Suzuri Shake Ridge Ranch Red’. ”I prefer low alcohol wines from Côtes du Rhône and Côte Rôtie. We struggle with an abundance of good weather. There’s a tendency in California to leave fruit on the vine for too long, but the pendulum is starting to swing back in the other direction, which is a good thing, propelled by 2010 and 2011, cooler vintages with longer growing seasons.” Read more
On Tuesday, we waxed-poetic about the amazing Jean-Paul Daumen of Domaine de la Vieille Julienne, but what we didn’t mention is his second line of wines, Daumen. Aiming to capture the passion of his younger vine-growing peers, Jean-Paul decided to work with a select few organic growers, including two who used to be employed with the Domaine, whose fruit might best represent the philosophy behind the wines at Vieille Julienne. Released in 2010, Daumen is a winemaking project that gives a home to Jean-Paul’s declassified fruit while allowing him to maintain working relationships with growers in different appellations. ”I like the wines to be in the style of Vieille Julienne,” Jean-Paul said of Daumen, who “guides the winemaking process, with the least intervention possible,” to make “modest wines [that are] straight from the heart”. Read more
“The most important part of my work is in the parcel. If I find good blending in a parcel after harvest, then 80% of my work is done,” said Jean-Paul Daumen of Domaine de la Vieille Julienne. ”If you go often to the parcel, you can feel the maturity. I do the blending in my head, but you have to be a little crazy because it’s all about repetition. Spending time in plots. Watching for change. You get to know the parcels well.” During one particular vintage, Jean-Paul said he tasted 15,000 grapes. ”I ate half the harvest,” he added and laughed, explaining that he doesn’t eat during harvest because he tends to eat grapes all day long. And because his fruit has been organically and biodynamically farmed since Jean-Paul took over the Domaine from his father in 1990, he can be sure that his intake is clean.
Patrick Garcia, Head Distiller at Dark Horse Distillery
At the start of this month, GQ published an article that blows the lid off of the pot of ”conglomerate distilleries” that manufacture a large number of brands from “so-called craft distilleries”. In an age when “…about half of the rye brands on liquor shelves today are made in a single, industrial facility,” it becomes even more imperative to know the family behind your whiskey. Love Knob Creek and Basil Hayden’s? They’re distilled at Jim Beam. Enjoy George Dickel Rye? Well, it’s made at LDI, who is also responsible for the production of Redemption Rye, Templeton, Smooth Ambler Very Old Scout and High West, just to name a few. And unless you prefer products from a distillery that is “known colloquially as LDI, but is now part of MGP, a food conglomerate that specializes in bioplastics, industrial proteins, and starches for use in salad dressings,energy bars, imitation cheese, and fruit fillings…” we recommend digging a little deeper than the back label on your next bottle of bourbon or rye whiskey…
From Kansas City, comes Dark Horse, an upstart distillery that’s family owned and operated by the Garcia siblings. Not only do they source grains from local farmers, but they also mill their grains at the distillery, and hand-label their bottles, all of which are numbered and signed by Head Distiller Patrick Garcia. Below, we grabbed a few minutes with Damian Garcia, who writes candidly about the family’s experience in establishing Dark Horse Distillery. Thanks Damian! Read more
Issac Flores at Dick & Jane’s Bar
Grown just five miles from the Roundhouse Distillery in Boulder, Colorado, the organic baby bear pie pumpkins that went into the inaugural release of Pumpkin King Cordial were harvested just two months ago in September. Working with his Roundhouse Gin and its 11 certified-organic hand-ground botanicals as the base, distiller Ted Palmer roasted and then macerated the pumpkin with spices and cane sugar for three weeks, before gently filtering and bottling. Arriving just a few weeks before Thanksgiving, Roundhouse Pumpkin King Cordial landed firstly in the hands of Issac Flores at Dick & Jane’s Bar in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Read more
Gerald Oustric of Domaine Le Mazel (photo credit)
“Natural wines were wild then,” said Byron Bates of Goatboy Selections. “The highs were high, but there wasn’t much consistency.” As the wine director at Amy Sacco’s Bette, Bates assembled a list of natural wines that led Eric Asimov to name it one of his three most favorite restaurants in the city. “We got a big following world wide,” he added. “We were serving some really funky stuff.” Once Bette closed in 2008, Bates went on to later develop a sans soufre wine list at Isa in Williamsburg. “The food coming out of the kitchen was so spectacular, I wanted to do something personal without making it about me, so I experimented with unsulfured wines and found that they matched perfectly.” Attracted to winemakers who are dogmatic about not using sulfur, Byron added, “If they’re fanatic about not using sulfur, they must be fanatic about the wines themselves. This was years after Bette. Now the [natural] wines are stable, clean and focused.” Read more
Francois Mitjavile at Tertre Roteboeuf (Photo credit)
Operating outside of the U.S. press for the past seven years, Francois Mitjavile severed his connection with Robert Parker in 2006. Despite the 98 Parker points that he received for his 2005 vintage, Mitjavile, whose declassified Tertre Roteboeuf is well known in France, had decided to not be beholden to the influence of Big Red. ”In France, he’s given the same accolades as the well known St Emilion houses like Cheval Blanc,” said Patrick Burke, our French Portfolio Director, “but here, his wines are unfamiliar. Those who do know the wine consider it a value in comparison to Cheval Blanc and Pavie.” Read more
“Foucault talks about conditions of possibility, that have nothing to do with individuals, but with conditions that allow individuals to launch change.”
Like newly grafted vines that take years to bear quality fruit, the New California Wine movement took time to take root. In the long shadow cast by the best of the Old World properties, Jon Bonné, in his recently published, The New California Wine, A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution in Taste, draws a verbal map across time, inclusive of California’s original wine growers of the 19th century whose work is reflected in the efforts of the new winemakers today. Read more
Ted Palmer doesn’t make spirits by accident. The distiller at Roundhouse Spirits in Boulder, Colorado is deliberate with his craft and so his decision to produce a barrel-aged gin was one that came after much consideration before it was first released at the start of 2011. Imperial, the name of Palmer’s unique spirit, was available first in Colorado and more recently in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which makes it a true pioneer in the recently burgeoning category of barrel-aged gins.