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The rarest of the Reverdy cuvées, Ortus was really an invention at the urging of Kermit, who has a fondness for Sauvignon with full malolactic fermentation, aged in wood, bottled unfiltered, generally treated like a white Burgundy. Kermit once told me the story of how Didier Dagueneau asked him which barrel in his cellar was Kermit’s favorite after he had tasted them all, and Kermit picked the barrel that Didier not so fondly referred to as “the mistake” (that is, the only one that did its malo). You have probably never imagined that Sauvignon could taste like this. Serve it as you would a Chardonnay from Burgundy, grandly.
Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch