2016 Vouvray “Le Portail”Champalou
France | Loire
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Valentin Montanet’s mother, Catherine, founded this domaine many years ago, and Valentin has been in charge of making the wine for the last several vintages. She loves whole-cluster fermentation and the floral, high-toned fresh fruit that it gives. He likes that just fine, but he also has a soft spot for destemming the grapes and tweaking out more complexity, terroir, and structure, proving that a Pinot Noir from Vézelay can stand up and age like the best of Burgundy. Valentin has come up with a clever fix to settle their differing views on winemaking. Come harvesttime, while his mother helps the pickers in the vines, Valentin receives the grapes, destems a good chunk of them into the bottom of the tank, hides the destemmer, and then throws a layer of whole berries on top to conceal the crushed grapes below. Mom comes in at the end of the day, looks into the tank, sees only whole clusters, gives a proud “That’s my boy!,” and goes on her way. I sure hope she doesn’t read this! It would be a shame if Valentin worked any other way, since the result is the perfect mix of both worlds. Serious and fun. Mother and child.
|Vineyard:||2 ha, planted mid-90s, early 2000s|
Domaine Pierre Guillemot France | Burgundy | Savigny-lès-Beaune
When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:
1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.
Inspiring Thirst, page 174
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