Laureano!Mendall Tasting Notes: Part 2

Laureano is a force of nature. Even though I still don't understand why he has some cabernet or merlot ( I think his brother had something to do with it) he has pure enthusiasm. Energy. Earnestness. AnI found myself taking notes on many Lareano-isms. I like this one in particular. ++Every plant has his own life form. You can't treat a vine like a human being but you have to respect each one just the same. "What do you want?" I ask the vine. "Harvest?" After that making wine is easy. His cave is on street level and it is quite warm, really warm. Tasting with Laureno is a roller coaster ride. The man makes more than 15 different cuvees, there are few similarities. Some are made in a reductive way, most are made in an oxidative, some have a flor. YESS He uses a solera system here ...

Laureano/ Mendall. Hardcore in Catalonia

I've been trying to remember when I first met Laureano Serres..... .....Certainly before I took that scuzzy, blurred photo this winter at La Remise. Was it a Dive? Perhaps. We've emailed, met, tasted. I liked. But it was this winter when I really noticed his wines, his white wines in particular. They provoked double take. Personality? Sure. But then, Laureano is a bit of a mad genius man. Vision. Talent. At that crazy tasting, because it is always tasting, I reacquainted myself with his macabeau, the '08 Abeurador (licorice!, with two days of skin contact) the 09 is earthier, with a little radish and melon. Needed some time to settle. I said to him, I'll visit. Laureano is pure. A New Yorker would have thought. Sure, she's coming. Right. It was no surprise to him when I wrote to ask if he could see me in June. He just ...

Leafroll Virus, pretty as a picture

My articles are usually warehoused in the articles section, but I though this one on Leafroll Virus in the vineyards of California was worth taking up space here. New story in the San Francisco Chronicle Leafroll: A quiet threat in the vineyard. You can click on this link right over HERE, and see the photos, or you can just scroll down. Next post up, by the way, The Great Laureano Serres. >/a It's not imagined. The blood-red leaves in California's vineyards are appearing earlier and spreading more widely. While pleasing to the eye, the colors indicate a shutting down of photosynthesis, often dangerously close to harvest. They can also be a signal for a virus that's giving the wine industry a migraine. The grape leafroll virus has been around and causing trouble for at least a century. It has about 10 variations. But the newest, V3 and V5, are causing ...

Pierre Overnoy and the 18- year -old Ouille

The day started with a train ride from Paris and then to Pupillon and Chez Overnoy, directly outside to his garden, to where he has his own little nursery with baby ploussard, savignin and chardonnay. While late June, the yard had this tender spring green about it. The hour was 11 o'clock. Out came the glasses. A mystery wine was poured. We stood in the breeze, just where Pierre likes to taste, per instructions of his old mentor M. Jules Chauvet. No one had any intention of spitting. "Guess how old it is?" he asked. Jean Paul Rocher & Pierre Overnoy This was a tough one. I usually fail miserably at the games, though I love them. Keeps you sharp. Forces you to think. It was savignin. Got that. It's salty. It's got age. But how much age? It's saline heaven and full of freshness with the sweet sucked ...

The Abuse of Natural

A few months ago, noodling around, I came across something called Mod Gamay, made in Australia from the Chris Ringland operation. This wine, with it's bold copy and flashy visuals, seems to have been removed from the net, gave homage to 'the father of Natural Wines, Jules Chauvet.' When an obscure scientist/vigneron becomes a buzzword for marketing, you know there is a body of work in trouble. I did a little investigation and found out that while the MOD grapes are conventionally farmed from not so old fruit, and while it is naturally yeasted it is indeed acidified and I just had the feeling that Saint Jules would be rolling in his grave if he knew his names was thus invoked. The new wines, vins libre, au naturel or live or real or naked, are in the mainstream, and that means buyer beware. The rule? If there's 'natural' on ...

Mendall in Terra Alta

I was feeling guilty about being late. But Chris was green and sick and we were...late. He was gracious. We zoomed to his vines, nearby. I let the boys ride in the big JPmobile. I hitched with Laureano. We needed to talk. I really wanted to know how he arrived to this place--ultra -extreme, hardcore in Terra Alta. Truly hardcore natural. Wound up Laureano has a nervous energy and completely endearing quality that infuses his bottles. You might not have tasted the wines, so you'll have to see for yourself, but you'll get the idea in this loosely edited transcript. ++ I started to make wine and for three years I made with sulfur. A friend made liquid for me. I don't like the sulfur. You add it and the wine changes. After, the wine recouperates and it works well. But at the beginning it goes Ouaaa. (hands go ...

The Overnoy Fete

I don't care if the only reason Pierre Overnoy threw me a party because out of friendship for Jean Paul Rocher, my publisher. In fact, I'd rather that was the case. I'm not a Leo, I'm a Cancer, and this kind of center of attention thing raises mixed feelings, but, I am not stupid enough not to have been thrilled. ++ foto par Philippe Gasnier Our little entourage drove or waked up to Pierre's families farmhouse just up the road. There were chickens, dogs and a garden waiting to give potatoes and tomatoes. I had no idea there was a pot luck dinner involved. There were radishes and butter and Pierre's bread. There were lentils and fabulous Comte. There was no one there at first, and then Olif from the blog de, showed up. So did an enologue from the area who swore by enzymes and told me that I ...

Valvigneres Returns

And it distressed me to miss this tasting in August. Pigs on spits and all. 1° Fête du Vin Naturel en Ardèche à ValvignèresUploaded by okasion. - Discover more animation and arts videos....

Grape Radio Interview

Last week I was the guest on Grape Radio and thought I should let you know. It was great fun talking to the gents over there, and I thank them for having me on. If you head over there to listen, you might be interested in the assortment of comments. Sound quality was not the greatest, but it's a long way from NYC to their studios in California . Grape Radio...

This Weekend’s Wine Obsessions

$20 and.. $18 and... $27 (I think I might prefer the acidiy on the '08, but this is so pretty, chamomile, fennel, yellow flowers, and a chenin-like wet wool)...

This Week’s Press Release

The birth of a rare red burgundy variety! ++ SINGAPORE AIRLINES TO SERVE RARE RED BURGUNDY VARIETY IN SUITES AND FIRST CLASS Singapore Airlines now features six of the most acclaimed 'Grand Cru' Red Burgundy labels in its wine selection available to Suites and First Class customers. With the August 1, 2010 introduction, customers on each flight can now look forward to a 'Grand Cru' Red Burgundy label in addition to the current wine selection. Red Burgundy is a red wine label originating from the French region of Bourgogne and made predominantly with the popular Pinot Noir grape variety. Possessing a reputation for being challenging to cultivate, these Pinot Noir grapes are grown around the world, but those from the region of Bourgogne produce some of the finest wines in the world. The six labels offered by the Airline are classified as 'Grand Cru', a classification that designates a vineyard ...

Belated Valentini

Three days before my European trip I took the subway up to iTrulli where Nicola Marzovilla had prepared a tasting of the legendary Valentini wines. This was a mini-media tour of the wines, a rare chance to taste a vertical. The house in Abruzzo is famously secretive, and it ain't cheap. They rarely allow any one in the cellars and they won't talk technique. But they have a reputation of being one of those old-fashioned sorts and swear that they never vary in the way they make wine. But, who knows. A few weeks back I had a 2000 Trebbiano which had the lees stirred into a souffle--Meursault-like, and I was like, hey guys, what gives? Trebbiano '08 Trebbiano- A lovely purity with ginger and white pepper. Limpid. Nutty. More ginger! And a long, long finish. '05, Lively a bit of a CO2 spritz. Nutty, peach pit fuzz and lacks ...

Bunuel-thought of the day

They call Bunuel everything: traitor, anarchist, pervert, defamer, iconoclast. But lunatic they do not call him. It is true, it is lunacy he portrays, but it is not his lunacy...this is the lunacy of civilization, the record of man's achievement after ten thousand years of refinement. -- Henry Miller...

Bunuel-thought of the day

They call Bunuel everything: traitor, anarchist, pervert, defamer, iconoclast. But lunatic they do not call him. It is true, it is lunacy he portrays, but it is not his lunacy...this is the lunacy of civilization, the record of man's achievement after ten thousand years of refinement. -- Henry Miller...

Leafroll Virus, pretty as a picture

My articles are usually warehoused in the articles section, but I though this one on Leafroll Virus in the vineyards of California was worth taking up space here. New story in the San Francisco Chronicle Leafroll: A quiet threat in the vineyard. You can click on this link right over HERE, and see the photos, or you can just scroll down. Next post up, by the way, The Great Laureano Serres. >/a It's not imagined. The blood-red leaves in California's vineyards are appearing earlier and spreading more widely. While pleasing to the eye, the colors indicate a shutting down of photosynthesis, often dangerously close to harvest. They can also be a signal for a virus that's giving the wine industry a migraine. The grape leafroll virus has been around and causing trouble for at least a century. It has about 10 variations. But the newest, V3 and V5, are causing panic, with some vineyard owners ripping out vines or blasting them with chemicals. "If I'm going to believe what I hear, it's going to be the next phylloxera," says Stuart Smith, owner of Smith-Madrone in St. Helena. "Worried? You bet." The virus is also affecting vines on the East Coast...

Laureano/ Mendall. Hardcore in Catalonia

I've been trying to remember when I first met Laureano Serres..... .....Certainly before I took that scuzzy, blurred photo this winter at La Remise. Was it a Dive? Perhaps. We've emailed, met, tasted. I liked. But it was this winter when I really noticed his wines, his white wines in particular. They provoked double take. Personality? Sure. But then, Laureano is a bit of a mad genius man. Vision. Talent. At that crazy tasting, because it is always tasting, I reacquainted myself with his macabeau, the '08 Abeurador (licorice!, with two days of skin contact) the 09 is earthier, with a little radish and melon. Needed some time to settle. I said to him, I'll visit. Laureano is pure. A New Yorker would have thought. Sure, she's coming. Right. It was no surprise to him when I wrote to ask if he could see me in June. He just assumed I was going to keep my word. He and JPJP a short pow wow, Benoit at Anima del Vi jumped on board. After some arm twisting, my publisher in Spain agreed to get my book ready for the evening. (pictures courtesy of Observatorio de Vino) And that's Benoit, His his...

Laureano!Mendall Tasting Notes: Part 2

Laureano is a force of nature. Even though I still don't understand why he has some cabernet or merlot ( I think his brother had something to do with it) he has pure enthusiasm. Energy. Earnestness. AnI found myself taking notes on many Lareano-isms. I like this one in particular. ++Every plant has his own life form. You can't treat a vine like a human being but you have to respect each one just the same. "What do you want?" I ask the vine. "Harvest?" After that making wine is easy. His cave is on street level and it is quite warm, really warm. Tasting with Laureno is a roller coaster ride. The man makes more than 15 different cuvees, there are few similarities. Some are made in a reductive way, most are made in an oxidative, some have a flor. YESS He uses a solera system here and takes the ends from all of his wines, and in wartime fashion, nothing goes to waste. 09 has wine from 2007 & 2008 and has a distinct Jura like voile thing going on. Delicious. Great aperitif wine. 2008 Mendall L'Abeurador Macabeau Two days of maceration, lots of fennel and slite fizz....