Wines news of France XXXIV !!

Well, we are moving right along in Fall season , and October 2022 ,is coming to an end, the temps are going to be warmer so say the so call experts. Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wine news of France. First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers! Oh yeah, the wines of France are just super simply awesome and a great tradition. Often imitated, some time equaled ,but never surpass! Let me give some news shall we; hope you enjoy it as I.

The auction room of the National Forestry Office (ONF). In 30 seconds: the most beautiful lot of oaks in the national forest of Tronçais, in the Allier, sold for more than a million euros. The 1,539 m³ of parcel 50, oaks born under the Restoration (1814-1830), were highly coveted, 62 lots for 44,000 m³ of wood, sold to the highest bidder ,on condition of carrying out the first transformation on European soil. Result of the sale: 15 million Euros. A record. For example , at Château Latour, where the wine is aged only in French oak barrels,drawn from 14 suppliers !

Actor Benoît Magimel and TV host Flavie Flament will preside over the 162nd Hospices de Beaune (Côte d’Or 21) wine sales, the oldest charity auctions in the world, on November 20, 2022, the organizers announced. The proceeds from the sale of this barrel, which last year set a new record, at 800,000 € (excluding costs), will go to the associations Princess Margot, which supports children with cancer, and Vision du Monde, which comes to helping the world’s most vulnerable children. Abundant harvest obliges , despite the drought, 802 pieces of 228 liter barrels will be offered for sale, a hair’s breadth from the 2018 record: 828 barrels. The auctions had that year set a record, with 14.2 million euros. In 2021, only 351 pieces were offered for sale, due to a very ungenerous vintage, for a total of 11.7 million euros. Since their foundation in the 15C, the Hospices have run a hospital service thanks to donations from individuals, mostly from vines: it is the sale of the wines they produce that allows them to function. The Hospices receive no public money for the renovation of their infrastructure. Dijon Beaune magazine webpage :

This is what emerges when we listen to the owner of the Château d’Or et de Gueules, in Costières-de-Nîmes. The 20 hectares of the estate, already cultivated organically and biodynamically, are lulled by soft musical notes, broadcast by two terminals. On aging plots, music therapy reduced esca by 30%. It is more complicated with powdery mildew and mildew. The music then only helps to fight these diseases, without defeating them, but I have the impression that it is effective, specifies Diane de Puymorin. At the origin of this technology, we find the French company Genodics, created by Michel Duhamel following the ban on arsenic soda in 2001. The first conclusive tests led him to create his company in 2008. Since then, it has been using sequences of sound waves that translate into melodies that alter the sequences of amino acids that make up chosen proteins Genodics began marketing its material in Alsace and Champagne, but was soon limited in its scope. expansion by plot size. Today, it is in Bordeaux that they have the most customers, half organic and half reasoned.

From the plain of Versailles to the highly urbanized areas of eastern Paris, the Île-de-France vineyard is in turmoil, after more than a century of silence. The Syndicat des vignerons d’Île-de-France has fought hard, for two decades, for this vineyard to be reborn in an official and professional way, until the approval of the IGP in 2020. With no less than 50 000 ha of vines in the 19C, against barely more than a hundred today, the Ile-de-France grapes are reclaiming their place in the sun, and sometimes even in the shade of the HLM towers (low income housing projects). Chelles, for example, just 15 km east of Paris, six hectares of vines in organic farming Le vigneron, who cultivates hillsides straddling Seine-Saint-Denis (93) and Seine-et-Marne (77), assures that the terroirs are very interesting, including in the immediate vicinity of the city. An approach that could hardly be attributed to the Winerie Parisienne, despite bottles for sale on the shelves of some supermarkets. Because in addition to this trading house founded in 2015, this son of a Bordeaux winegrower is at the head of the Bouche du Roi estate , on the plain of Versailles, no building in sight as in Chelles, but the same desire to recreate a wine-growing tradition, Webpage :

In terms of aging potential, natural sweet wines beat dry wines hands down. Indeed, a 1932 vintage can be as nuanced and dapper as a spring rose. In France, it is an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOP) wine, vintage or not. It is produced in Roussillon , its land of origin , but also in Languedoc, southern Rhône and Corsica. On the vinification side, it comes from the mutage technique, a strictly regulated process: during the alcoholic fermentation, a defined quantity of neutral wine alcohol (96% vol) is added. The fermentation then stops suddenly, because the yeasts die suddenly. The wine therefore preserves a significant part of the sugars present in the fresh grapes. Depending on the grape varieties used, the time of mutage and the specifications of the appellation, the natural sweet wine contains at least 45 g/l of residual sugars, see minimum 100 g/l for Muscats. But some can go up to 200 g/l, or even more. In terms of alcohol, natural sweet wines are a little stronger than dry wines, but not enough to whip a cat: in general, they are between 15% vol. and 21.5% vol. of alcohol. natural sweet wine is not to be confused with naturally sweet wine, which comes from a very different process. The grape varieties used are mainly Grenache and Muscat, but others are also allowed, however in a minority proportion. The first is rearing in a reducing environment, that is to say, away from oxygen. It is a fairly brief aging process that preserves the fruity and floral aromas of the grapes. The second is aging in an oxidative environment. It is generally quite a long aging process, ranging from a few years to a few decades, sometimes up to almost a century! This aging is done in containers ranging from demijohn to oak barrels, through all possible and imaginable sizes of barrels What distinguishes an excellent natural sweet wine from a less successful one remains its ability to find the right balance between freshness and sweetness, The mutage technique was invented and perfected in the 13C by the Catalan alchemist Arnaldus de Villa Nova, working at the time at the Montpellier medical school. Its purpose was to protect the wine, in particular to enable it to survive long journeys. Thanks to a patent granted in 1299 by the King of Majorca, Roussillon was the first to make an art of it. Other French regions followed: Languedoc, Southern Rhône and Corsica. Today there are 12 controlled designations of origin: Banyuls, Banyuls grand cru, Maury, Rivesaltes and Muscat de Rivesaltes for Roussillon. Muscat de Frontignan, Muscat de Lunel, Muscat de Mireval and Muscat de Saint-Jean-de-Minervois for Languedoc. Rasteau and Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise for southern Rhône and Muscat du Cap Corse for Corsica. Important detail: the service temperature. If it is important for dry wines, it is even more so for sweet wines. Rule of thumb: white and pink VDN between 10 and 12°C, red VDN between 14 and 16°C, and oxidative VDN between 16 and 18°C, En vino veritas !

In Bordeaux, new reign as Alexis Leven Mentzelopoulos embodies the new face of Château Margaux, The splendid Palladian residence of Château Margaux is behind us. Beyond a curtain of trees in front of us, flows the Gironde. On the right, the cellar built in 2015 by Lord Norman Foster as an extension of the historic 1815 vat room. It took a lot of insisting that the youngest son of Corinne Mentzelopoulos, nicknamed “the lady of Margaux” since she brilliantly presided over the destiny of the estate since 1981, Since February 2020, he joined “the Margaux company as Executive Assistant. He is officially part of the organization chart , The visitors who stroll quietly in the area celebrated since the 16C and, photograph from afar the beautiful 19C facade with peristyle inspired by the Parthenon. In 1977 when André Metzenopoulos acquired Château Margaux, these Ionic columns celebrating his native country (Greece), had particularly moved him, After his grandfather, his mother and his sister Alexandra Petit Metzenopoulos, Alexis is therefore the fourth Mentzelopoulos to integrate Château Margaux. Webpage :

When Lucien Lurton decided in 1992 to pass on to his ten children all of his properties acquired over the previous decades, he asked each of them to write down their three choices on a piece of paper. Gonzague Lurton, who swears only by the second classified growth of Margaux, will write: 1: Durfort-Vivens, 2: I will never work in the wine world, 3: I will never work in the wine world , The 55-hectare property, planted mainly in Cabernet-Sauvignon, did not enjoy a great reputation at that time. It is also with this 2019 vintage that Durfort-Vivens launched its new (and probably not last) revolution: the abandonment of the second wine, in favor of parcel vintages. These come from terroirs clearly identified during the tasting since 2014, and whose style asserts itself vintage after vintage. This is how three new cuvées are now produced, which replace the second wine: “Les Plantes”, from young vines, “Le Plateau”, from plots located in Soussans, and “Le Hameau”, located in Cantenac. . What to understand the different terroirs that make up Durfort-Vivens. On one side, the immense expanse of the 80 ha Château du Tertre. On the other, part of the 92 ha vineyard of Château Giscours. Between the 5th and 3rd Grand Cru Classé of Margaux, a small plot of 3.75 ha has made its way. In other words, a confetti. But a confetti pampered step by step by one of the pioneers of another agriculture. In the locality of Tertre in Margaux, the Clos du Jaugueyron is one of the smallest farms in the appellation where the average size is 24.68 ha. The largest estate being Château Lascombes with its 115.43 ha. However. If the Clos du Jaugueyron is certainly modest in surface, it is not so in reputation. the production of the 16 parcels of Clos du Jaugueyron located partly in the Haut Médoc appellation and the others in Margaux, is so successful that it struggles to satisfy everyone with its three cuvées of Margaux ; Petit-Jaug (50% Merlot , 50 % cabernet-sauvignon, Nout 55% merlot, 45% cabernet-sauvignon, and its grand vin, Clos du Jaugueyron ,10% merlot, 70% cabernet-sauvignon, 10% cabernet franc , benefits from the image of an appellation that makes your eyes sparkle , From 1995 to 2000, their vineyard is cultivated in conventional agriculture. But organic and biodynamics are slowly starting to appear. At Clos du Jaugueyron, 20 to 25,000 bottles a year, biodynamics has imposed itself little by little, almost gropingly. In 2008, as the baton was handed over to them the lease of the 40 ares of old vines in Haut Médoc with which started. From their first vintage in 2009, La Closerie des Moussis snapped up. In 2015, Margaux opened its arms to them: 20 ares leased in Cantenac then 40 ares in Arsac in 2020. (ares is a French wine measurement of land equivalent 1 ares to 100 square meters or 1076 sq feet) In the meantime, 2,000 bottles of their 2019 vintage (40% cabernet sauvignon, 40% merlot, 20% cabernet franc), there’s hardly any left ! Webpage :

After Brad Pitt, Georges Clooney and Kylie Minogue, French star Patrick Bruel releases his first rosé, After planting vines three years ago on his estate in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (Vaucluse 84), the French composer and actor markets his first rosé wine, the cuvée Augusta, in association with the winegrower-merchant Nicolas Jaboulet (I know him!). Rosé and Provence are also worn by celebrities who invest in the vineyards of the south-east, such as Brad Pitt, George Clooney, George Lucas, Kylie Minogue, John Malkovich, or basketball player Tony Parker who recently took walk to Château La Mascaronne (see previous news). On the side of Vaucluse, on the plateau of Margoye and more precisely in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, it is the singer-actor Patrick Bruel who launches. In 2007, the latter bought the Domaine de Leos ,a contraction of the first names of his sons Léon and Oscar an old 17C building covering 41 hectares and offering a breathtaking view of the Luberon. Abandoned, the cultivation of vines and olive trees has gradually resumed under the leadership of Patrick Bruel, who has been producing olive oil since 2011, as well as jams and honey. The wine waited until 2019 with a project to replant a 13 ha vineyard. The result ? A brand new rosé from the 2022 vintage, whose unique cuvée is called Augusta and which will be available from spring 2023. In order to produce and market his wine, Patrick Bruel has chosen Nicolas Jaboulet, a sixth-generation winemaker from a famous family that has been working since 1834 on the prestigious Hermitage hillside and has been cultivating vines in northern Rhône for 12 years, Webpage :

There you go folks, another wine episode of my belle France! The wines of France that is, superbe, sublime, wonderful, gorgeous, enjoy without moderation but accompanying a meal, family table just perfect. See you in the vineyards of France.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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