Friday, May 13, 2011

Texier's Wild Rosė

Les and Kathy stopped by the other night with some bottles to try. The hit of the evening was a wild new rosė from Éric Texier. There is a vineyard near Charnay, about a half-hour's drive northwest of Lyon, where grapevines are mostly left to their own devices. Following the Fukuoka principles of non-interventionist farming, the vines are pruned, but not trellised or ploughed. As I understand it, the property is cooperatively owned by local farmers and townspeople of Charnay. According to the importer David Bowler (from whom I've cribbed some of this), there are 26 different kinds of vines planted in this vineyard, using massale selection (new vines made from cuttings from the best older vines, as opposed to clonal selection, when all vines come from a single “mother vine”). Given the location, we assume most of the vines are Gamay, some of which no doubt have seriously eccentric origins.

Vignenvie VDT Rosė L'Anecdot'hic 2010: Opens with big aromas of sassafras, sorrel, and red berries, with very fresh-tasting red berry fruit on the palate, and a nice clean finish. Kathy said “It tastes like Thanksgiving,” and that seems as neat a summary as any. I think it is a great introduction to the world of non-interventionist winemaking: It really does have that sauvage character, yet it seems quite user-friendly. I am still pondering an appropriate food match beyond turkey with cranberry sauce. There used to be a Senegalese restaurant in Paris that served lamb stew with okra and palm nuts, and this rosė, at least in my distant memory, might have matched well with its earthy, barky aromas and flavors. (Here's a link to what seems to be the original place's successor—I'm pretty sure this is the same guy, in a new, bigger location.)

No idea what kind of wordplay is involved with the name. Francophones, please respond in comments!

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