It is a sacred moment in the life of a domaine which produces only a handful of cuvées when it decides to introduce a new bottling to its repertoire. By 2011, when the Bruniers did just that with their Ventoux “Mégaphone,” they had spent more than a century focused on producing world-class Châteauneuf-du-Pape. More recently, they had raised the bar of what was thought possible from the AOC of Gigondas through their Domaine Les Pallières, co-owned with Kermit. Then, ten years ago, they found that a newly acquired, 5-acre parcel of vines planted along the southern slopes of the Dentelles de Montmirail produced wine of an altogether different character from their weeknight-sipper Pigeoulet bottling into which they’d planned to blend it. Rather than force this new parcel’s wine to fit into the spirit of Pigeoulet, the Bruniers decided it was so distinct and enchanting on its own that it merited its own bottling, which they dubbed “Mégaphone”—a fitting name for the newest addition to a family of wines that revolved around Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe (“Domaine of the Old Telegraph”). Tasting the two side-by-side today, the 2019 Mégaphone is a step up in structure and complexity from the comparatively ethereal 2019 Pigeoulet—also gorgeous and highly recommended. If the latter is a hedonistic country quaffer, the former is a full and intense sensory immersion in Provence. Fragrant aromas of lavender and garrigue rise out of the glass alongside notes of perfectly ripe black cherries, followed by hints of black olive and stones. I recently poured the Mégaphone alongside a dish of hummus with spiced lamb, from Yasmin Khan’s wonderful Zaitoun cookbook. It was a match made in heaven, and like the hummus, this exquisite red from the Bruniers can serve on either apéritif or main-course duty depending on the night!
This discounted collection celebrates Corsica’s pioneering vignerons and features bottles that display the Île de Beauté’s identity in all its splendid glory: tenacious and soulful, forged by Mediterranean sunshine, sea salt, and wild maquis herbs.
In 1976, when I was busy being born as a wine importer, Richard Olney guided me through the French vineyards. He introduced me to Domaine Tempier, Clape, Chave, and other incomparable sources. In the Beaujolais we visited Château Thivin and Georges Duboeuf. I chose to pursue Thivin
Tasting the two side-by-side today, the 2019 Mégaphone is a step up in structure and complexity from the comparatively ethereal 2019 Pigeoulet—also gorgeous and highly recommended. If the latter is a hedonistic country quaffer, the former is a full and intense sensory immersion in Provence
When traveling the wine route in France and Italy, I come across fine olive oil almost as often as I come across fine wine. Of course, these are the two staples of the diet in this part of the world...
Here at Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant we don’t believe in selling anything mediocre, and we would certainly not put our name on a wine we didn’t believe in. So our values are just that, wines that are full of value and quality.
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