BRICKS 6 December 2019
JEAN BOURDY NV CRÉMANT DU JURA
Jean-François Bourdy is a 15th generation winemaker in the mountainous Jura region of eastern France. Fifteen generations – that is not a typo!!! Bourdy is the direct descendant of a line of winemakers that stretches back to the founding of the Domaine, sometime between 1475-1500 (the records are a bit dusty.) This makes Caves Jean Bourdy one of the oldest continually operating wineries in the world! While the winemaking techniques remain generally unchanged, the Bourdy’s are not resting on their laurels. Biodynamic certification was received from Demeter in 2006.
This lovely little Crémant is made from 100% Chardonnay, using the méthode champenoise (or the Champagne Method in English aka Traditional Method).
It’s racy and fresh with tons of complexity. On the nose aromas of freshly baked almond croissants are balanced by notes of tart Granny Smith apples. These notes carry onto the palate and are complemented with flavours of candied ginger and ripe persimmon.
DOMAINE DE LA GARRELIÈRE 2018 LE CHENIN DE LA COLLINE
LOIRE VALLEY, FRANCE
Domaine de la Garrelière is a small, biodynamically farmed vineyard in the Southern part of the Loire Valley’s Touraine region. It’s owned and operated by husband and wife team François and Pascale Plouzeau. The label depicts François toasting the moon, an integral part of biodynamic farming. So cute!
This particular wine is made from a 3.2-hectare plot of 30+ year-old Chenin Blanc. It was made as an ode to the south-facing slope they find their vineyard on and all the equinox parties they’ve thrown on top of it. They take three passes through this vineyard to harvest each bunch at optimal ripeness. The wine ferments for a few weeks in concrete tanks before ageing on its lees for a short time in ⅔ concrete and ⅓ 600L neutral French oak barrels.
Chenin (like most wines) can be made anywhere from sweet to bone dry, this is the latter. It’s got beautiful notes of ripe pears, kafir limes and rockets candy with a touch of pineapple and chamomile.
PARAJES DEL VALLE 2014 MONASTRELL
Monastrell aka Mataró aka Mourvèdre. These are just a few of the many, many synonyms this varietal goes by. No matter what you call it though, it’s thought that this very dark, thick skinned varietal originated in Spain. These days it’s grown all over the world and more often than not, blended with Grenache and Syrah to create the infamous GSM blend.
This expression from Parajes Del Valle’s 28-year-old winemaker, Maria Jover, is one of the prettiest, most delicate expressions of the varietal I’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking though!
The grapes come from organically farmed vines that are between 20 and 90 years old. They are picked by hand and fermented in concrete tanks; this is completely unoaked.
It’s fresh and vibrant with racy acidy. Notes of raspberries and cranberries leap from the glass and are present on the palate too, along with flavours of pink peppercorn, tarragon and a touch of licorice.
MOTHER ROCK 2016 FORCE MAJEURE RED
SWARTLAND, SOUTH AFRICA
Yet another young winemaker, Johan Meyer has made a name for himself in the ever-emerging South African wine industry in a very short time. While his namesake ‘Signature’ wines reflect his love of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Johan is not one to limit himself and thus created the Mother Rock Wines in collaboration with his UK importer Ben Henshaw of Indigo Wines.
2016 is the last year we’ll see this wine labeled as “Force Majeure”, funny enough, this is due to legal copyright issues (moving forward it will be called “Force Celeste”).
This easy drinking red is a blend of 43% Syrah, 16% Pinotage, 15% Grenache, 13% Cinsault, 8% Mourvèdre, and finally, 5% Carignan. All the grapes are handpicked from separate parcels, all across Swartland. All the parcels were planted between 1983 and 1991 and they’re all dry-farmed and organic.
This has got just a touch of earthy funk on the nose (probably from the Pinotage). The palate is chockfull of plums, raspberries, and strawberry Jolly Ranchers with soft tannins.
BODEGAS FRONTONIO TELESCÓPICO 2016 CARIGNAN
The second Dan and I tried this wine I knew I wanted to include it in the BRICKS 6. This was love at first sip for both of us! This wine is pure joy, but the winery gets its name from a rather grim tale…
Frontonio Telescópico is named after Saint Frontonio, the patron saint of Épila, a town in Valdejalón, Northeast Spain, where the wine is produced. Legend has it that Saint Frontonio was beheaded by the Romans. His body was buried in a cemetery and his head was thrown into the River Ebro near Zaragoza. Miraculously, his head was later found going upstream along the banks of the River Jalón in Épila.
Likewise, this limited production of “micro” wine is the result of rowing against the stream. It is also something of a miracle. It comes from a humble garage where it is made by Fernando Mora MW, Francisco Latasa and Mario López, without any fuss.
This wine is pure finesse, it’s balanced, yet incredibly complex. It’s bursting with notes of juicy, ripe blackberries, creamy vanilla, toasted baking spices and a hint of smoke. The finish is silky smooth and lingers. Only 4300 bottles were produced.
REVERSANTI 2014 BAROLO
Imagine getting kicked in the face by a ballerina. Nebbiolo has this exact same kind of elegant brutality. – Madeline Puckette, Wine Folly
Established in 2005, Reversanti is a relatively new winery which is a collaboration between a few producers who supply fruit from their respective communes within the Barolo region; Marcarini from La Morra, Bongiovani from Castiglione Falletto, and Einaudi from Barolo proper. The result is a fantastic wine at a great price that showcases some of the various terroirs within the region.
By law, Barolo is made from 100% Nebbiolo and must be aged for at least three years (in oak and bottle) before its release. Don’t let the lighter colour fool you, Barolo wines are full bodied with high acid and high tannins, but are equally fine and elegant as well.
On the nose you’ll find aromas of roses, licorice and cherries with subtle notes of vanilla, leather and tobacco. The palate is harmonious with velvety tannins.
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