The first wine we sampled, a white, was chosen by the owner. Everyone goes blind. Initially, I hesitated between a Loire and a Jurançon, because the wine has quite a strong quince flavor, as well as a nice acidity. But, following aeration, it takes on notes of polish, of truffle, which permanently point me in the direction of the Pyrenees. In any case, it’s a very nice wine, both ample and lively, with a fleshy material that’s delicious and fresh, and a strong persistence. I really liked it. And it’s...
... a dry 2009 Jurançon from the Souch domain (you know, the one belonging to Yvonne Hegoburu, the lovely widow from “Mondovino”). I had sampled their dry wine several times, but never at this level. Until then, it was mostly their Marie Kattalin vintage that had charmed me with its crystalline purity.
I chose the second wine from the menu without telling my friends what the carafe contained. The leather, plum and spice nose quickly pointed them towards the Rhône, though its freshness could have made them think of the Loire. The suppleness of the mouth-feel and the fine tannins leaves one to presume dominant Grenache. We must be somewhere near Châteauneuf, right? Almost...
It’s a table wine, Les Rouliers, but developed by one of the legendary producer of Chateauneuf du Pape: Henri Bonneau (the 2009 vintage, if memory serves). This wine was a first for all of us, and it is a great discovery that makes you want to explore the rest of the winemaker’s range.
The next wine chosen by Julien is a true bomb. This is true for the nose that evokes blackcurrant, pepper, slightly smoky dried meat, “garrigue”...as well as the mouth-feel which is ample, spherical, and the flesh which is ample and generous, with dense tannins that are nevertheless perfectly polished, and with a remarkable freshness and balance. And I'm not even talking about the spicy and endless finish. I was impressed by this formal perfection. I also suspected Julien to have chosen one of the gems of the wine list: a 2009 Grange des Pères.
And I was right. He went out of his way. And he was damn right to do so: I hadn’t enjoyed a red so much in a long time!
To end the evening, we went for a bubbly. The nose is complex, powerful, with floral and brioche notes. The mouth-full is straight, winey, with a bubble that is present but not arrogant; a solid finish with a limestone-y feel. It could be Champagne by a (very) good producer. Actually, it is a 2007 Vouvray by Philippe Foreau. I had thoroughly enjoyed his 2002. I see that he is keeping it up.
Thank you all for a wonderful evening!