Thursday, February 6, 2014

Travelogue January 18th, 2014-Louis Clerc-Small grower in Cote Rotie and Condrieu. Louis was the father that passed away several years ago. At the time of his death, they had been transitioning from selling all of their grapes to the Guigals, with whom they have always had a great relationship, to making their own wines. Their Cote Rotie  went into Guigal’s Brune et Blonde (They are in the Blonde parcel), their Climat is called Le Collet and it’s all schist soil with at least 25 yr old head trained Syrah (No Viognier co fermented in the Cote rotie). They own 8 total Hectares of which 1.8 is in dramatic Cliffside South facing vineyards in Condrieu. When the only son came of working age, they restarted the label (2010) and Martin, is now the 23 yr old winemaker. He has graduated Oenology school and is in wine Business school at the moment. These are impressive for the money. 

January 15, 2014-Vincent Pinard. While we were staying in Santenay, Florentine and Clement Pinard came to meet with us and brought us a gorgeous lunch. Vincent Pinard has been producing Sancerre since the 16th century, over 20 generations. Flor and Clement and the current winemakers. They brought us a range of Sancerres, each fascinating and complex, and terroir driven. They have holdings on a variety of soils and bottle those terroirs individually as well as in blends. The real surprises, however, were the reds. We expected their Pinots to be like most red Sancerres-thin and lifeless. These were anything but, they showed power depth and life. It may have been even more impressive considering we were right in the midst of 4 days in Burgundy. These incredible Pinots stood shoulder to shoulder with much of the wine we tasted in Burgundy, while showing their own distinct style. For many of use these were an unexpected revelation, and for 2 sweet young guys, they provided us with a lighthearted afternoon with wines that were powerful, not in structure, but in gravitas.