Sunday, December 11, 2011

Re-thinking wine

Jean-Yves Péron

What is wine? How is it supposed to taste and what is right and wrong?

I sometimes need to ask myself these questions – especially when I encounter wines, which automatically challenge me on these points.

The answer I seek, is not a solution – a final statement in order to paint a black & white image of wine. But I seek to push myself to the limit and not always take the secure consensus road. As I see it, you can always go back to your comfort zone – no one will force you, but at least you tried it, you had an opinion about it and you had an open mind towards it – or did you?

You can probably guess I am about to present you with a wine (in fact two), who bended the wheel to a point, where I had to surrender myself and just sit back and smile.

To believe wines of such character actually exist makes me thrilled – to find they are sold out makes me annoyed…or at least impatient before the next vintage arrives.

First - let us first find out were these two ladies lives. We are in Savoie – the region all good students have plotted into their vocabulary of wine knowledge. You are lost again – and I don’t blame you, but we are here:

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2009 Jean-Yves Péron “.Vers La Maison Rouge”

Blend: 100% la Mondeuse
Terroir: Slate
Age of wines: 80 years old
Method: Macération carbonique
Exposure: South (and extremely steep slopes – se link to video below)
Other: We are 400-600m above sea level
Sulphur: Zero
Glass: Zalto Universal

There is a lot of sediment in this wine and as I took it directly out of the wine fridge it’s was pretty blurred in the glass. You also can’t help to notice a very light coloured liquid in the glass. You have a good feeling it’s not your everyday bonanza wine you are about to taste.

The nose is like being kissed for the first time. Blessed with the purest scents of strawberry, rhubarb and sweet liquorice. It’s so light with it’s 11% of alcohol, yet so intriguing to sniff, as the fruit is so unbelievable fresh. The taste is zippy pure fruit – no tannins at all, but yet so intense, energetic and frisky. In addition you have a solid baseline of underneath mineral brushings.

The drinking pleasure was more than splendid – and the bottle almost empty before I got the chance to take some real notes. Simply stunning wine.

2009 Jean-Yves Péron "Côtillon des Dames"

Blend: 100% Jacquères
Terroir: Mica/schists
Age of wines: +100 years old
Exposure: South
Production: 600-800 bottles
Sulphur: Zero
Glass: Zalto Universal

The white wine also has lots of sediment, so I had it upright for two days before I tasted it. Still it’s rather blurred and looks like unfiltered apple juice. The nose is insane…WOW!!!! Outrageously fresh with some degrees of oxidation (but very subtle) and the most incredible notes of late harvest ripe apples, olive oil, orange blossoms and creamy wheat beer. The taste…. can it keep up with the nose??…Oh yes. FANTASTIC!!!....Mind-blowing intense and ladies and gentlemen it’s holding 11,5% of alcohol and the finish just keeps on going. The wine has an extremely elastic structure, exploding on the palate with so much life and particles of minerals flying all across the mouth. The elastic structure get’s companionship of poised acidity taken its curl to a beautiful silky mouth feel.

I tasted it over two hours – well almost…there was a small portion in the bottle and I noticed that after four hours the wine was completely oxidized and dead. But who cares and what is wine???....For me it’s one of my most memorable white wines of the year. BRAVO!!!!

Interview with Jean-Yves Péron


Voodoo Child said...

Did Signe taste it, what did she think?

Nanna Wang Carlsen said...

Very interesting reading, Thomas. No doubt it pays to leave your comfort zone once in a while!

Would you say that this wine is approachable and easy drinking - or does it take an experienced vin nature aficionado to appreciate it?

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Thanks for the notes. Where can I buy Péron wines?

Best regards;

Thomas said...

@ Ebbe – Signe liked them both.

@ Nanna – Good question ;-). I don’t know how your reaction would be. Could be anything from: “What a thin undrinkable crap wine” to instant love or maybe just a puzzled feeling.

I would hope – whatever the outcome that you and others would think that wine could also taste like this and start to ask yourself what is right and what is wrong?

@ Josef – If you are based in Denmark, I can help you (despite – they are both they are sold out in the current vintage) – otherwise I have no clue where to buy them.

Best from,

TWG said...

The finish of my last taste of the Cotillion seemed to last 10 minutes. Thanks for the recommendation.

Thomas said...

Great to hear TWG….I can’t wait to taste it again…it’s sold out here….damn!!!