I am so pleased to say that I have been so busy that I have not had time to write, so I will fill you in on my travels, as I sit and enjoy a little late lunch in Avignon.
To start, I have some tasting notes for you. On Thursday I visited Sang de Callioux in Vacqueyras, where I met Serge, the owner and wine maker and tasted his white and reds.
This is Serge. Yes, his is gregarious and welcoming, and his Wines are fantastic.
I met with Serge at Sand de Callioux shortly at 10. It is impossible to be precise here, timewise, when you are driving on country road, and you have no idea were you are going. Okay, I say you in that loose, it must happen to everyone kind of way, but I mean me. I think my phone wanted me to take the scenic route this morning; it seemed to have in mind for me a long, meandering beautiful drive in the countryside, but it was kind of a circuitous route, to say the least, but I was supposed to get to the tasting...beautiful, I will admit, but long story short, I was late.
Serge is a jovial wine maker, who came to to door with a smile and a laugh. His English is very good, and when I told him so, he smiled wider, spreading his already impressive handlebar moustache from cheek to cheek, and he said, "of course." He is proud, though quietly so, of the small size of his winery and the quality of his wines. When I asked to see, he said, admittedly with some surprise, "it is not much, okay." And, it, indeed, it is quite simple by comparison to Vieux Telegraph, though they have all the same stuff, just on a different scale.
He showed me where the work is done, and explained they had finished the harvest and were on to start the pressing. And, he, too, is confident that this is a very good vintage beacuse the weather was good, though he admitted yields were a bit smaller than usual. He said that he is eager to see how the 2011 will turn out, but it is another year in the barrel before we will know. He recommends waiting 3-4 years before drinking the wine after it is in the bottle, though he likes it also young, but it is best after some time, and will conitnue to age well for another 8 years or so. Can we be that patient? I am going to try to begin to buy with the hope of holding on to some for all of you, but that is inadvisable, I sure, according to me accountant!
We tasted the 2011 White, which is a blend of Bourboulanc, Clairette, Grenache, Rosanne, Marsanne, and Viognier. It is a interesting, complex white, as I have been experiencing, though lighter in body than I expected, lots of acidity and a lot of minerality. As Serge pointed out, it is almost salty. I should have bought a bottle! It is delicious, not yet in my shop, but, I hope it will be Then we tasted two of the 2010 reds, the first (he has three, one for each of his daughters) is a blend of 70% grenache, 20% syrah, and 10% mouvedre, cinsault, carignon, but all the vines are 30 years old, roughly. The second wine, an old vine wine, from vines that are 60-75years or older, is 75% grenache, 25% syrah, that is it, and it is dramatically different from the last. Both wines are balanced, and have some similar flavors, but the body is different, there is more structure, more finesse, more power in the old vines cuvee. The young vines wine has a certain fresh character, it is a bit fruitier, but not as flavorful. It is so interteresting to taste them side by side. I like them both. Only the old vines is currently available at the shop, and I will happily point it out to you next time you are in...or when I return;)
Au resevoir Serge...merci bien,à bientôt!
This visit reinforced my excitement for the 2011 vintage, for which we have only begun to see the whites. What I have tasted is all so promising!
In fact, I am sipping on a great local 2011 rosè while I write this, and the quality, for a simple house wine is so good. The wine easily handles the acidity of the salad because it has its own sufficient acidity, along with a lovely texture, richer than a Provencal rosè, the pink wines of the Vaulcluse are more grenache and syrah, and have a bit more body and weight. So, for me there is creaminess, that I typically find in a more expensive wine. Perfect afternoon in the sun:)
I will continue my tasting notes on my next post...from Lirac!