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Fabien Jouves Piquette Oldschool 2019

Fabien Jouves Piquette Oldschool 2019

Piquette fun

Piquette is a low alcohol wine traditionally made for vineyard workers to quench their thirst during or after a hard day’s work in the sun.

The recipe is simply:

After pressing the grape pomace to extract the remainder of its juice, you pour over some spring water and let it ferment a second time.

Voilá!

The result is a light, juicy and extremely refreshing wine.

It’s not a wine whose aromatic complexity you will dwell on for very long. Instead it’s a wine for immediate enjoyment. And a wine that you may choose to drink on occasions where you’d usually reach for a beer. A beverage for good times.

Piquette is fun!

And so is Fabien’s one liter of ‘Piquette Oldschool’.

(At 9,5% of alcohol)

Just have a look at the bottle…

– which displays one of six different labels…

– with one of six cheeky underpants designs…

– one of each in a case.

Fabien Jouves Piquette Oldschool 2019 (1L)

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Fabien Jouves Les Pièces Longues 2019

Fabien Jouves Les Pièces Longues 2017

Long pieces

Only six weeks ago I told you about Les Pièces Longues 2017.

It’s gone now, of course.

Fortunately the nineteen vintage is ready.

Still grapey

Still childish

Still adorable

Just to sum it up. Les Pièces Longues is one hundred percent Chenin Blanc. No maceration. Aged in used barrique and foudre. No sulfur added.

It’s definitely not the most acidic of Chenins. But it’s well balanced, quite aromatic, light as a feather…

– and just extremely drinkable!

Fabien Jouves Les Pièces Longues 2019

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Fabien Jouves Autochtones 2019

Fabien Jouves Autochtones 2019

Fabien’s forgotten friends

When I poured my first glass of this wine it struck me: What if it had been served to me blind in a black glass?

Would I have guessed that it was a red wine?

Probably not.

I might have guessed orange.

Or perhaps I would have saved myself the embarrassment with the help of a couple of red references, namely István Bencze’s Pinot Noir and Karl Schnabel’s ‘Sausal’.

So it’s red. But why then do I get this white wine aroma?

Let’s have a look at the varieties.

Gibert

Noual

Valdiguiè

Juracon Noir

Well, I don’t know about you, but except the last one I have no idea if these grapes are blue or green. So I did a little web searching. And it turns out that ‘Noual’ is a white wine variety. But that’s about the info I was able to find.

‘Autochtones’ is Fabien Jouves’ celebration of four forgotten local varieties. In the chalky soils of his southwestern France.

Besides the fruity nose of an aromatic orange, it is…

– Spicylicious

– Juicy like the juiciest of Gamays.

– Cheekily volatile 

– An energetic youngster

– Gone like dew before the sun

Thanks Fabien – for introducing me to your forgotten friends!

Fabien Jouves Autochtones 2019

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Fabien Jouves Skin Contact 2020

Fabien Jouves Skin Contact 2020

Orange soif

I have no idea why.

But when Fabien decides to macerate his white wine – even for several months – they still appear super quaffable.

This one, made from Gros Manseng, Ugni Blanc and Muscat d’Alexandrie, spent three months on the skins in a steel tank. Then half a year in a mix of steel, barrique and foudre. 

And still… juicy as hell!

And of the fresh, charming and aromatic kind.

I am going to bring my bottle out in the sun today. Share it safely with a few friends. And dream of the bright times ahead.

And imagine how we’ll soon be able to hug and dance and have a little…

SKIN CONTACT!

Fabien Jouves Skin Contact 2020

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Fabien Jouves À table ! ! ! 2020

Fabien Jouves À table 2020

À table ! ! !

Lunch is ready, have a seat!

Pour yourself a big glass of rosé and relax. Don’t fancy rose? Well, do it anyway. I think you’re gonna like this. I am absolutely convinced.

“À table ! ! !” is Malbec, Tannat and Merlot. 

It’s partly ‘saignée’ (closer to a red than traditional rosé) and partly ‘direct press’ (closer to white than red). It’s aged partly in cement, and more noticeable, partly in barrique.

I definitely prefer a dark and bold rosé to the traditional ones, no doubt about it!

And for years “À table ! ! !” has been one of my personal benchmarks for this style of rosé.

Nice looks.

Extremely fruity.

Creamy and solidly built.

Very, very clean.

A fantastic rosé.

Actually, when I come to think about it. It smells, tastes and behaves just like it looks.

And it looks nice, eh?

Fabien Jouves À table ! ! ! 2020

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Fabien Jouves NDD 2019

Can’t blame the gods

NDD stands for “Nectar des dieux”.

(“Nectar of the gods”)

And I must say, if this is what the gods have been drinking for the last year and a half I can’t blame them for the mess they’ve made.

It’s the quintessence of ‘vin soif’, a wine as thirst quenching as water from a spring.

A blend of…

– Malbec (Fabien’s main variety that he’s made into numerous delicious soifs during the years)

– Muscat de Hambourg (blue Muscat, a first for me!)

– Cinsault (adds freshness and perfume)

– Grenache Noire (also known for its easy accessible wines)

Maybe you’ve noticed the trend of 1-liter bottles lately. It may seem silly, but for me it’s a signal. A strong signal. It tells me that I should expect to finish the bottle fast.

It’s a promise.

And a promise kept.

(Actually, a 5-liter BiB would be appropriate too.)

Because… divine or not…

It’s freakin’ tasty!

Fabien Jouves NDD 2019 (1L)

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Principiano Langhe Nebbiolo 2018 (& Barolo 2016)

Nebbiolo

Morten wrote me: “More Nebbiolo, please!”

I couldn’t agree more. So I went on a mission. Here’s who I brought with me.

Ferdinando Principiano

Principiano’s Nebbiolo wines are always in the elegant corner of the spectrum. And in his Langhe Nebbiolo 2018 this is exemplified with conviction. This young charmer is a force of nature with its vigor and strong positives vibes. Fresh cherries, wild strawberries, a touch of autumn and a yummy licorice finish. Juicy and drinkable. Classy and handsome.

Principiano Langhe Nebbiolo 2018

Morten and I both read that 2016 is a fantastic Barolo vintage. But none of us had tried any of them. Usually the really great vintages require a lot of patience so I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Principiano’s 2016 is indeed ready to drink right now. Bright, fragrant and feminin. But – as is always the case with Barolo – with an opinion of her own. A stunning beauty with a big broad smile on her face 🙂

Principiano Barolo 2016

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Achillée Riesling 2018

Domaine Achillée Riesling 2018

The Q-word

When I speak of wine I rarely speak of quality.

Quality is about meeting (or exceeding) expectations. The specifications are set and clear. Meet the specs and you’ve delivered quality.

The majority of wine produced is certainly made from set specifications. But the wine I drink (and I assume that the same goes for you) are less of a commodity to be of such predictive character.

The outcome of a truly remarkable wine is formed along the way. Because it’s not made in a factory. It’s made my a human being who knows the craft. Or the art, if you will. Like there’s a difference between a painter and an artist.

And then there are the exceptions, or gray zones:

Barolo

Champagne

and…

Alsace

Alsace is the essence of ‘terroir’. Riesling is probably the region’s most renowned variety to express it sense of place. And the winegrowers are packed together in a very small space. Experience have accumulated for ages and so have our expectations. A strong mental spec has formed.

My mental spec consists of words like dry, crisp, tropical, mineral, complex, uplifting and joyful.

Of course, talking about production quality we can’t avoid also taking into consideration the ever-present elephant in the room: Price

. . .

Domaine Achillée is all about quality.

And since the first time I tasted their ‘basic’ Riesling from 2018 I’ve been impressed by the precision and drinkability of this wine. I am just enjoying this wine so much.

So in the end it all depends on the price. Which by my standards is definitely acceptable.

Today it got a little better.

Achillèe Riesling 2018

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Podere Casaccia Ambrato 2018

Podere Casaccia Ambrato 2018

Amber Orange

Orange wine is not just orange wine.

First, what we have decided to call ‘orange wine’ is just a white wine vinified with skin contact. A white wine with 24 hours of skin contact is usually not very different from at wine without skincontact. A white wine with 9 months of skin contact is very different from one without. So when to call it a white and when to call it orange? It’s up to you. Sort of the same with rosé and red (a little skin contact / much skin contact).

Second, most of the grape’s aroma compounds sit in the skin. So a long extraction period releases a lot of aroma. Using aromatic grape varieties like Moscato, Malvasia or Gewürztraminer will initially increase the aroma of the wine. But the thing is, the aromatic imprint of the skin contact has a limit, and oftentimes it even seems to reverse. The fruity aromas become less dominant after a certain lenght of contact between must and skins.

Third, the grape skins contain phenolic compounds, most notably ‘tannins’. Tannins add this mouth-drying feeling to the wine. So the longer the skincontact, the dryer the mouth.

Fourth, orange wines seems to show less acidity as they spend time with the skins. They may be more complex, but a wine without freshness is not a lot of fun.

It’s a balancing act.

‘Sine Felle Ambrato’ is a nice way explore this balancing act. To dance a little dance with aroma, tannin and acidity. To see if you click like she and I do.

– With around four month of skin contact the color is a clear amber orange (‘ambrato’ means ‘amber’).

– The wine is made of both aromatic and more neutral varieties.

– It is definitely an aromatic wine but it’s not shouting at the top of its lungs. It is more subtle.

– There is a good tannic bite, but not too overwhelming.

To me this is an orange wine in a beautiful balance. It is made without anything added or taken away, and having known Podere Casaccia for several years I can attest to the fact that ‘Ambrato’ is clearly reflecting the place it comes from.

Podere Casaccia ‘Sine Felle Ambrato’ 2018