Big thanks to everyone who came out to yesterday’s Uncorking of Spring Rosé Tasting in Studio 206! Roused from a long winter slumber by the early bursts of sun, the crowd fill the room by 11, and kept on coming at the speed of 33 RPM. And as if 32 bottles of rosé weren’t enough to inspire, we added a few numbers from two new Austrian producers–Mantlerhof and Fischer– alongside select offerings from Vins de Vienne, who were represented by Marie Melodie, who happened to be visiting. In addition to everyone’s favorites, including Clos Cibonne, Domaine la Suffrene, Chateau Coussin, Pigoudet and Ameztoi Rubentis, we welcomed a number of new wines which kept the palates juicy and wanting: Altenburger RoSée Connection, Riedlin Spätburgunder Rosé, Matthiasson Rosé, Forlorn Hope Kumo to Ame Rosé and Bebame.
In between flipping vinyl on the turntable and keeping bottles chilled, we grabbed the chance to catch up with a few friends of T. Edward. Read more
Generating attention for the unheralded wine regions of the world Eric Asimov has recently written about Amontillado, Sicilian reds, and now Bandol. Exposing atypical wines and their regions to a worldwide readership, Asimov concedes that these wines might not be readily available at every local store; however, it’s gem estates like Domaine la Suffrene Bandol, that make every bottle worth seeking.
From the outset of An Affair to Remember, it’s pink champagne that sets the scene of seduction with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.
At the start of the film, Grant’s Nickie Ferrante, “the master in the art of making love – the man who knows how to love them and leave them happy”, says to Kerr’s Terry McKay, the woman of his affection -”Now is there any reason why from now on, this trip shouldn’t be like pink champagne?”
Seeking to live every moment like Champagne (with bubbles that pop-pop-pop), Emile Zola’s Nana enjoys playing the bon vivant. Fancying herself a courtesan of class, Nana indulges her whims and guests with bottles of Champagne that help bring her admirers to their knees with a bat of her lash. Read more
Yves Cuilleron & Francois Villard at Vins de Vienne
“From the turn of the century to the 1960′s this whole area was in decline,” said Yves Cuilleron of Vins de Vienne. “At the end of the 19th century, 400ha were planted [to vines]. In the 1960′s, only 30ha of Cote Rotie was planted. People drank table wine every day, but it cost too much to plant the vineyards!” As he swept his arm through the air, across the steep hills from which tractors used to fall, Yves added, “If you came here 20 years ago, there were only 50% [of the current vineyards planted].” Read more
Mark & Gilles Moustie of Domaine de la Douaix
2013 was an amazing year, leaving lots for which to be grateful in its wake. A number of winemakers came to town for luncheons including Katharina Prum of J.J. Prum, Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Patterson of Scarpetta, and Robert Sinskey and Steve Matthiasson; and Ana Cabestrero of El Maestro Sierra, led a sherry seminar in Studio 206, titled, Running the Scales. For the fall season, we joined forces with De Gustibus Cooking School, pairing wines with the plates of famed chefs that included Gabarielle Hamilton of Prune, Wylie Dufresne of wd-50 and Jon Bignelli of Alder, to name a few. And while the challenges of riding the Gran Fondo New York 2013 are definitely behind us, we still revel in the joys of Txikifest 2013 and fondly recall the rooftop views from the Billecart-Salmon party at Blue Ribbon Izakaya. However, any reflection upon 2013 would not be complete without looking back on the number of small producers that joined our French, Italian, Domestic, and Iberian portfolios. Read more
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
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.
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