One of the things we love about wine is the history. In this July’s wine club we bring you ancient styles of wine making and ancient varietals. If they hadn’t been bottled up for thousands of years, they might have been lost. We are grateful for the innovators that have held on to old traditions and to those who have had the foresight to hold on to ancient varietals and showcase them.
P. & E. Mullins
Turbullent Vineyard Sérol Natural Sparkling RoséCôte Roannaise, Loire Valley France
As a wine club we visited the Sérol familys’ 100% still Gamay in May. They have been making wine in Renaison, in the heart of the AOC Côte Roannaise for 5 generations. Since they started, the family’s mission has been to make its terroir better known and to reveal the different expressions of Gamay. Practicing organic farming and using native yeast fermentation in concrete introduces us to something very special. To kick off this July’s wine club and awaken the palate to new and exciting things, I’ve chosen a Pétillant Naturel, Pét-Nat for short. This is a wine produced in méthode ancestral, dating back to the 16thcentury, pre-champagne even. Essentially, the wine is bottled prior to fully completing its first fermentation, allowing carbon dioxide to be produced by the natural sugars found in the grapes giving it a natural fizz. This Pét-Nat is made from 100% Gamay from the Loire Valley. It’s super aromatic and bright. In the glass it is a vivid pink color. The nose is bursting with ripe grape, pear and raspberries. The palate is well rounded and balanced by a lively finish.
2016 Clos Centeilles C Blancs Côtes du Brian Minervois, France
Winemaker Patricia Boyer-Domergue and her daughter Cecille are truly remarkable forces in the Minervois wine region of the Languedec in Southern France. In an appellation best known for its rustic, simple table wines, Clos Centeilles is producing elegant, age-worthy wines. Patricia started her wine making career training at famous vineyards in Bordeaux and when she arrived in Minervois to launch her own winery, shestarted planting whatever ancient varieties she could get her hands on; today, she’s one of the area’s most regarded grape historians and preservationist. This white blend is afresh, versatile, palate-pleasing blend of extremely rare grapes that’s sure to wow any crowd. A blend of three native Languedoc varieties; Araignan blanc, Riveirenc gris, Riveirenc blanc and Grenache gris were made to be together. Each of their personalities complement one another with unique qualities: One gives aromas of maturity and adds body, another brings balance, while the last gives it acidity. Every last detail has been thoughtfully made even down to the high-grade natural cork and Eco-friendly Burgundy style bottle. In the glass this wine is a bright yellow with a tinge of green. The nose is quite herbaceous. The palate has a full mouth feel with bright acidity. The herbal notes carry through with a little white blossom on the finish.
2016 Chateau Maris 'Natural Selection' Syrah-Grenache, Minervois La Liviniere, France
Another driving force in the Langeduc for biodynamic and sustainable farming is Chateau Maris. This horse powered winery has all 79 acres certified organic and biodynamic. All their grapes are hand harvested and aged in concrete tanks. Winemaker Robert Eden has alsobuilt the world’s first hemp cellar with Château Maris. The label is inspired by Darwins natural selection charts and diagrams. The focus of this winery is to work with nature, not against it and produce a natural honest clean wine in your glass. In the glass this wine is a very deep red and garnet in color with highlights of deep purple. The nose is forward and complex. There are aromas of ripe blackberries and elderflowers along with herbaceous and peppery notes. The palate is lush and weighted with firm yet silky and smooth tannins. The finish is long and lingering.