Friday, October 12, 2012


We Danes are proud of our strawberries. We honestly believe they rank among the best in the world – because they both posses depth in flavour, good acidity and lots of delicate freshness. Most Danes are however missing out on the best varieties, because their yields are too low and they go too fast in putrefaction. Fast like you should eat them almost instantly after they have been picked.

You can source these typical old varieties from local farms or grow them yourself and they are so incredible intense.

If turning to wine, we connect wines ability to age with something graceful and a positive aspect. For sure understandable, as it adds to the storytelling that wine is a living organism and will unfold secondary nuances, revealing (sometimes) the true identity and scope of a wine.

However some wines are also adorable when young and can at times be even better. Overall it’s very difficult to find a generalizing thumb rule for what people like the most. The compromise would probably be that wines ability to age is associated with greatness – but it will be a more individualistic perception preferring wine young or old.

However – wines that can’t age and even will disintegrate soon after you have pulled the cork would be something we look upon as bizarre and not great wine – regardless how it actually tasted. We would even mark most of these wines as flawed because they would flirt with an oxidized profile.

Have you ever asked yourself who has defined those standards? Are wine – or any kind of other passion/hobby not truly more fascinating when you can relate fully to it?  Are we not seeking to understand how our own assessments align with all the experience we have obtained? How can we have such strong passionate opinions about something we have not fully discovered? Aren’t experts – or nerds expected to go an extra mile and be even more detailed and curious?

I have to say that I am somewhat puzzled – especially when turning to my local backyard, how confident the Danish wine journalists are when defining what is right and wrong. I believe strongly in scepticism when it comes to wine – but not when the norms are already pre-defined.

Learning new things, taken a new stand should be logic wisdom as we expand our knowledge and experiences. The result is changing your opinion. Saying out loud; “I was wrong”. This is no way near ok, when it comes to wine, because the fine stiff-necked wine culture establishment believes in nothing but their own standards. No one can teach them anything new.

You can probably guess that the wine in the spotlight is not your everyday bonanza wine. It’s once again a wine from Jean-Yves Péron. Opening a wine from him is always associated with a degree of dipping ones toes into the unknown.  I can’t hide that this kind of excitement factor is something I really appreciate. Curious and restless  - yep, that’s probably me. But it also comes down to being naked, having no pre-defined rules, for what’s fine wine and why can’t wine taste like this?

2010 Jean-Yves Péron “Les Barrieux”

Blend: 100% Roussane
Terroir: Mica schist with aluminum and oxide-iron. Soil is quite light, draining out and warming up quickly
Vineyard: 0,2 ha.
Vines: Planted in 2005/06
Viniculture: Organic
Vinification: 10 days of Carbonic maceration - aged one year in barrels on lies.  
Sulphur: Zero in all steps. Natural sulphur was less than 2mg/l
Location: Savoie
Alcohol: 12,5%
Glass: Zalto Universal

I have tasted it two times, but the post-preparations were a little different. First time – from having been stored horizontal in the wine cabinet for about 3 weeks and standing upright in the fridge for a day. Second time it was upright for a week in the fridge.

So why is this important?

The wine has some degree of sediment, which accelerates the oxidized character, when in contact with the juice. If you let it stand up for a week it feels slimmer and less crazy. I liked both experiences, but I think if you have it upright for a week you have a more balanced expression and a more clear wine in the glass.
Make no mistake that despite maybe not being crazy; it will probably raise an eyebrow or two.

First of all the Roussane can attract a lot of exotic fruity notes, which is also the case here. It starts almost like a dessert wine, with really overripe fat peaches, mango, apricot and some degree of sherry resemblance oxidation.  There is also a deeper and darker baseline, which has a slightly herbal touch to it. The taste is however no way sweet, but quite demanding, intense – but at the same time bone dry with a really long finish.

That as close as I can describe it – forgive me, but this tasting doesn’t really give justice to how it really tasted. I can’t give you any other advice of trying it yourself. It will not be for everyone and you have about 4 hours before it dies out.  But those 4 hours are worth it all.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that it dies out in 4 houres.

My experience with italian orange wines has been that a decanter is needed to open up the aroma. (Gravner, Princic, Cornelissen,...)

I will be in Paris soon and pick some bottles of this one and try ;)

Thomas said...

Hi There....let us know what you think.

Best from,

Anonymous said...

So finally, last weekend I visited the Jura/Savoie/Alsace degustation @ cave Augé in Paris.

First, our benchmark is a little bit different because the bottle 'Les Barrieux' I tasted was a blend of Roussanne and Jacquere. Which I liked from the start because the always acidic Jacquere can help balance out the typical tropical fruit aroma of Roussanne.

I had a chat with the vigneron regarding airtime, and he said the wine was not meant to need a lot of air before consumption. The big difference between orange Friuli wines and 'Les Barrieux' is the difference in years of aging on the lies. As Radikon is 3-4 years and this bottle only 1 year.

The wine: lovely stuff altough quite leftfield. Orange, old bronze colour. Aroma of pear, melon, pineapple, citron-thyme and a very light oxidation. The taste is very rich yet the acid, mild tannin and oxidation all balance well round a centre of minerality.
For me, definitely wine to pair with food on a sunny day; lamb, pigeon, tuna.

On a personal note, I found this wine a bit stuck between different styles.
His cuvee 'Cotillon des dames' with a more oxidised profile was more to my liking. And the cuvee 'la grande journee', who spearpointed on minerality and oxidation a la Selosse (altough still a bit orange)was more my cup of wine ;)

Thomas said...

Hi again,

Great that you share these thoughts – you seem to know and like orange wines ;-).

'Les Barrieux' is made from a blend of Roussanne and Jacquere in vintage 2009 and 2011. In 2010 it’s pure Roussanne.

I have two new orange wines to test – one from Yann Durieux “Les Ponts blanc” a 2011 Aligoté and one from Vodopivec ( a Vitovska from 2005. Do you know any of them?

Best from,