Sunday, December 09, 2018

Les vins naturels – 2 new releases – one from France and one from Italy

Two new wines that have recently graced the dinner table. Both made with biodynamic practices and are Vin Demeter.

The French wine – 2015 Chateau Peybonnehomme-les-Tours “Energies” is a Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux AC from Famille Hubert Vignerons. The wine (SRP $25, sample) has an Italian connection. From the first impression (a Bordeaux wine in a Burgundy bottle) I got the idea that this wine was not going to be your grandfather’s Bordeaux. 60% Merlot, 30% Malbec and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from a vineyard in the village of Cars near Blaye. The Gironde River is nearby and the vines are around 40 years of age.

Completely Demeter agriculture biodynamique since the beginning of this millennium.

Opening the wine, it was tight. After about ten minutes it opened up. The thing I noticed, right off, was the granularity of the wine. It had this texture that softly sanded away on the palate. Not abrasive as much as stimulating. Good balance, dry, bone dry. An hour or so into the wine (we had it with a soup of chicken, mushrooms and potatoes) it really hit its stride. The rose aromas starting blossoming in the nose, along with a tiny bit of inkiness, and a walnuttiness, very pleasant combination. With the soup, which is often difficult to pair a wine with, it was perfect. Quite an enjoyable wine and moreover, a wine that had a sense of itself, an identity and it was a pleasant one. I would buy this wine in a heartbeat, really a great diversion from the “tried and true” of what we have come to know (and love) about traditional red Bordeaux wines. Another new face in the clubhouse, looking a little different than the others, but in the end, still part of the family.

Oh, and the Italian connection? After fermentation in concrete, it was aged for 12 months in Italian terra cotta amphorae.

The Italian wine – 2013 Coste di moro Montepulciano d’Abruzzo from the Orsogna winery, their “Lunaria” line of organic wines. This wine ($15 retail, purchased) comes in an attractive long Bordeaux shaped bottle. It’s very brown bag hip looking, very upscale in a low impact way. Also biodynamic (Demeter certified).

The initial aromas in this wine were dark chocolate, rich plum, but a little closed in, still napping. After it awoke, the wine opened up. The texture of this wine also had a graininess to it, which gave the wine volume to dance with the sumptuous fruit. A bit grapey in the beginning, which leveled out during the night. What I liked about this wine was its versatility. We had the wine with stove-top smoked Piedmontese rib eye steaks, and also a salad with a quasi-Caesar- like dressing (olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire, Dijon mustard, anchovy puree, garlic, pepper) and a small Yukon gold potato with a yogurt dressing (in place of butter or sour cream). So, lots of different spices, textures and flavors. And the Montepulciano fit right in, in fact, fit in so well that it was seamless and ultimately delicious.

This wine is a great value from the perspective of provenance and accessibility.

There you go - two natural wines that you should put on your dinner table soon.

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W

Thanks to Vins de Bordeaux for the French wine sample.


Tony Laveglia said...

I am curious. Did you find the Montepulciano to be Bordelaise or Burgundian in style? If Bordo how did the fruit relate to that type of aging?

Alfonso Cevola said...

Hi Tony,
Thanks for your comment. Actually, it tasted pretty much like a Montepulciano from Abruzzo in the 1970’s. Lots of stuffing, good fruit, no discernible oak flavors, a bit plump and just a really good drink. The only difference was the granularity, which I mentioned in the post. But I also noticed that on the Bordeaux wine as well, although a little different.

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