When operating at the tip of any frontier there’s power in numbers. Would Kerouac have had the same impact without his accompanying Beats? Rauschenberg without Warhol? Matthiasson without Petroski? Winogrand without Arbus? Parker without Gillespie?
In Vacqueyras resides Cécile Dusserre of Domaine de Montvac, a one-woman operation sandwiched between Chateauneuf du Pape and Gigondas, in an AOC that received its status in 1990 with the help of Dusserre’s father who was instrumental in gaining its classification. Long before buyers and consumers came to seek family-run producers from unknown and upcoming regions, Domaine de Montvac was operating as just that. Silently farming and fermenting wines of elegance in a region that stands on the cusp on neighboring Old World regions that have operated across time, Dusserre has persisted in making natural wines that speak to the palate.
Cécile Dusserre of Domaine de Montvac
With the 2012 vintage, the year that Ecocert began to require organic practices in the cellar as well as in the vineyard, Domaine de Montvac yielded half of its normal harvest. The fact that Cécile Dusserre works annually with the same team of harvesters who know the property and her preferences well was no match for the weather, where January was very cold, and the preceding months were mild. The frigid temperatures at the beginning of the year ended up arresting the sap’s descension through the trunks, which caused most all of her 1.1ha of 90-year-old Grenache vines to explode, and forced Cécile to tear them up from the ground. And though the Mistral generally helps keep the vines free of disease, in this particular vintage, the winds appeared during flowering and blew a lot of flowers from the vines, meaning that there likely won’t be a 2012 “Variation”, which is made from 100% old-vine Grenache in only the best of vintages, but luckily we’re stocked with reserves of the wine’s last great vintage–2010.
What are the main ingredients in an Organic Fine Wine?
Potassium bicarbonate, to deacidify a wine?
Egg white albumin?
We happen to believe that terroir is the most important ingredient here, an ingredient that our winemakers do everything to protect and foster, even if Ecocert’s new regulations happen to neglect it.
We’re on the road in France, but wanted to share a few images before we head back to NYC.
Big thanks to the amazing growers and vignerons who have welcomed us into their homes!
Cecile Dusserre of Domaine de Montvac in Vacqueyras
Cécile Dusserre by Sylvie Fraissard
“2012 was an exceptional year with respect to both the weather during the growing season and the resulting quality of the wines,” writes Cécile Dusserre of Domaine de Montvac. Committed to the purity of her wines and to the preservation of the environment, Cecile practices organic agriculture without certification, banning the use herbicides or pesticides in the vineyard. “The notion of the terroir translates,” says Cécile. “The vineyard has roots which can go back to 50 or 60 inches below to get all the potential of the soil.”
Vinisud 2012. One of the most comprehensive and well organized wine expos.
We’ve just received a few photos from JP, who attended Vinisud 2012 this past week with Patrick (our French Portfolio Director) and our visionary leader, TEB. Hosted in Montpellier, France, Vinisud is a Mediterranean wines trade fair that features French producers from Lanquedoc, Roussillon, Provence, the Rhone Valley, Corsica and South-West, alongside wineries from Spain, Italy, Portugal, Tunisia, Turkey, Morocco and Algeria. As noted in the images below, Vinisud is also well attended by a number of our producers…