October 2017—Our 45th Anniversary!
If you’re looking to store some rays for a rainy day, Michèle Aubery says her Sagesse will age nicely for years to come. Made from the “younger” of the old vines (planted in the ’50s), this Côtes du Rhône flaunts the purity and power of 100% Grenache. The rich, dark fruit on the nose is a nod to all the sun this vintage saw, and the spicy, structured palate is a tip of the hat to complete the gesture. Try it now, but do take Michèle’s recommendation and cellar some, too. –Emily Spillmann
|Winemaker:||Michèle Aubèry-Laurent & Maxime François Laurent|
|Vineyard:||60 years, 26 ha|
|Soil:||Clay, Limestone varied with gravel, galets roulés, and/or sand|
|Aging:||Grapes macerate for 15 days in cement cuve, wine ages for 12 months in barriques before bottling|
The seemingly reserved façade of Michèle Aubèry-Laurent melts quickly when she speaks about her wines. She and her husband, Philippe, bottled their first vintage in 1990, in the town of Montbrison-sur-Lez. In 1999, in an unexpected twist of fate, Philippe was killed in a tragic accident and Michèle was suddenly left with three children, vineyards, and the winery. Over the years, Michèle discovered her own creative voice in her new vocation. Today, she works twenty-six hectares with her son, Maxime François. They employ organic and biodynamic practices, with a non-interventionist stance in the cellars, bottling old-vine fruit with little sulfur, without fining or filtration, highlighting the purity of their small, rare production.
I want you to realize once and for all: Even the winemaker does not know what aging is going to do to a new vintage; Robert Parker does not know; I do not know. We all make educated (hopefully) guesses about what the future will bring, but guesses they are. And one of the pleasures of a wine cellar is the opportunity it provides for you to witness the evolution of your various selections. Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.
Inspiring Thirst, page 171