Friday, 30 June 2017

A new discovery - Ma Poésie 2016 Vin de France

As always, June is holiday time for us (in Languedoc - where else?) and I did intend to post a few blog entries whilst we were here. Unfortunately, for virtually the whole two weeks until yesterday, we have had no Internet connection, which has scuppered my plans. However, I have lots to write about, so will certainly be posting several new entries over the following few weeks, as and when time allows. For now, though, I feel compelled to tell you about a wonderful new (and unexpected) discovery - Ma Poésie 2016 Vin de France.
This is a wine that exemplifies/typifies the efforts being made by small-production "garagiste" vignerons all across southern France these days. And in this particular case, no less than 5 different vignerons, who all make wines in the same tiny single-storey building, situated along a country track, north of Sommières, between Montpellier and Nîmes.
The wine cellar/chai(!)

Indeed, under the tutelage of the inspired (and elusive, as I have *still* yet to meet him) Robert Creus of Terre Inconnue, these 5 growers are making some of the quirkiest, most interesting and downright delicious wines in the Languedoc region. I already import from 3 of them - Terre Inconnue, Domaine de Maruejols and Domaine Adeleandre. And now I have had the pleasure of tasting this wine, from another of the 5.......
Tasting barrel samples and a few bottles

We were actually supposed to meet Robert Creus yesterday, but he was unfortunately unable to make it, so he asked the delightful Sylvi Leichtnam to meet us instead. Sylvi runs a chambres d'hote business nearby, and she kindly showed us around the cellar, offering us a variety of barrel samples as we went along. And then she opened a bottle of Ma Poèsie 2016, the very first vintage of her own wine.......

Not least because one of Sylvi's favourite wines is Domaine de Trévallon, it just so happens that she has fashioned a 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, aged (as are most of the wines in the group) in a mix of stainless steel vats and old oak barrels. Although her wine may not quite possess the wild, "sauvage" nature and structure of Trévallon itself, it is a wonderful wine in its own right. Whilst the colour is quite a deep, dark cherry red-purple, suggesting a big wine, the nose is really quite elegant, offering myriad red and black fruit aromas, with hints of garam masala, black pepper, rosemary, thyme and polished old wood.

The palate is equally elegant and (dare I say it) almost feminine, offering a multitude of bramble, cassis and black cherry fruit flavours, again with myriad spice and herb nuances, with very fine, supple tannins and just the right level of balancing acidity. It finishes spicy, warm, sweet-sour, with little hints of savoury and balsam, and is very long. For a first effort, it really is a remarkably lovely wine, which is already good to drink, but would also age and evolve for at least 7-10 years, probably more. Oh, and it is - bien sur! - pretty much biodynamic and pretty "natural", with just a little SO2 added at the bottling stage. 14% abv.

Bravo Sylvi! I *will* be importing some of this wine, in due course - if Sylvi will let me have some. :-)
Sylvi Leichtnam and her first wine
Incidentally, we also met another excellent winemaker yesterday, as part of the same visit - about which more, very soon.

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