Monday, 26 January 2015
Ken Payton on the right with Jean-Luc Etievent
Some of the photos of the American West
After spending much of the day at Millésime Bio I headed off to the opening of Ken Payton's Traces – an exhibition of his photos from the Midi, Turkey and the American West. His exhibition is housed in Scrupule and alternative bookshop and meeting place in Montpellier, whose attrractions includes a choir that specialises in revolutionary songs.
Leaving the Parc des Exposition I knew I could take the tram and if I chose the right stop I wouldn't be very far from 26 Rue du Faubourg Figuerolles. Unfortunately the internet connection at Millésime Bio is hopelessly slow, so I couldn't load the amp on my iPad, so I just had to try and remember what I had seen previously on a map. As I might have known I got off far too early and so had a fair to get there as well as an interesting time trying to find the Rue du Faubourg Figuerolles and then Scrupule, which is on the first floor up a steep wooden staircase.
My walk to Scruple and then the return to my Ibis hotel near to La Place de la Comédie further reinforced the idea that I need to explore Montpellier more and that when exploring it's best to go north. Best to avoid the souless and rather nightmarish Antigone and then the flat southern suburbs and instead wander through the maze of streets to the north and west of the Place de la Comédie.
Ken has a keen eye for interesting faces and scenes along with the bizarre. The exhibition was accompanied by songs from Woody Guthrie very much in keeping with a few of Ken's American West photos featuring ruined buildings.
The exhibition runs until 14th February and Ken will be there most evenings of this week.
Sunday, 25 January 2015
Le Trio du Clos du Serres – Béatrice et Sébastien Fillon et Nicolas Mollard
A few portraits taken at the Outsiders' tasting this evening @La Panacée – mainly producers but not entirely.
Ken Payton (film-maker, photographer, writer)
Ken Payton has a photo exhibition called Traces that opens tomorrow from 18h at Scrupule, 26 Rue du Faubourg Figuerolles, Montpellier. The exhibition runs until 14th February.
Nearly a selfie – my camera but Ken took the photo
Jan-Ailbe, Château Rives-Blanques
Nina Schomakers (Domaine Jonathan Pabiot)
Jonathan Pabiot as a slightly concerned gunslinger from Northern France!
A true outsider in this company!
Trevor Gulliver, leading London restaurateur
including St. John Restaurant
Daniel James, Domaine Saint-Hilaire
Jon Bowen, Domaine Sainte Croix
Elizabeth Bowen, Domaine Sainte Croix
Robin Williamson, Domaine de Saumarez
Nicolas Mollard, Le Clos du Serres
Château de Panéry
Caroline Henry concentrating hard
Cyril Bourgne, Domaine La Madura
Nadia Bourgne, Domaine La Madura
Chris Kissack (The Wine Doctor) @ this week's tasting
Just a follow on from Friday's post about this first look, since the vintage, at 2014 Loires. As I reported they are generally showing well but here are a few wines I picked out from the tasting. Not I hasten to add an exhaustive list and with these very largely being unbottled samples these are not finished wines.
Some 2014s I picked out:
Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie, Château du Cléray: Pierre Sauvion
Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu, Château de la Pierre, Domaine des Herbauges
Touraine Sauvignon, Domaine de la Bergerie, Jacky Marteau
Menetou-Salon, Le Prieurie de Saint-Cérols, Pierre Jacolin
Reuilly Clos des Messieurs, Natalie and Claude Lafond
Pouilly-Fumé Boisfleury, Alain Cailbourdin
Chinon (Rouge) Domaine de la Roncée, Baudry-Dutour
Chinon (Rouge) Domaine de la Noblaie, Jérôme Billard
Chinon (Blanc) Domaine de la Noblaie, Jérôme Billard
Fiefs Vendéens Mareuil (Chenin-Chardonnay), Jérémie Mourat
Fiefs Vendéens Le Moulin Blanc (Chenin-Chardonnay), Jérémie Mourat
Sancerre Cuvées Clémence and Flores, Vincent Pinard
Vouvray Cuvée Silex, Domaine des Aubuisìeres (Bernard Fouquet)
Vouvray Cuvée Ammonite, Château Gaudrelle, Alexandre Monmousseau
Pouilly-Fumé, La Roche Blanche, Laporte
Coteaux de l'Aubance Tradition, Domaine des Rochelles, Jean-Hubert Lebreton
Coteaux du Layon, Clos de la Bergerie, Domaine de la Bergerie, Ann and Yves Guégniard
Coteaux du Layon St Aubin, Les Varennes, Domaine Philippe Cady
(The three sweet wines above are all in the lighter apéro style. Other more concentrated wines will doubtless appear later.)
1er Cru Coteaux du Layon Chaume, Domaine des Forges, Séverine and Stéphane Branchereau
2013 Beaune Premier Cru Boucherottes, Le Grappin
(This is the second part of my profile of Burgundy and Forest Hill garagiste: Andrew Nielsen. First part is here.)
Andrew aims to bring additional value to plots of vines in Savigny-Lès-Beaune. Many of Savigny's grapes are picked before they are fully ripe as the majority of the producers are more grape growers than wine-makers. Le Grappin does not own any vines instead oversees selected plots and picks the grapes. Andrew is invariably the latest to pick much to the bemusement of his neighbours.
Le Grappin was set up in 2011. Initially Andrew shared winemaking facilities before finding, in 2013, an old armoury under the remparts of Beaune, which he finds ideal because of its humidity and constant temperature. In 2011 he had two plots of vines, five by 2013 and six by 2014. Andrew has plots on Aux Fourneaux, which is a Premier Cru and the vines are 60 years old. It gets its name from the ovens at the top of the plot that were used to make charcoal.
The lower part of the slope has the village appellation. Here the humidity tends to be high, so rot is a problem, growers pick the grapes early. However, through leaf plucking, opening up the canopy and getting rid of the rotten fruit Andrew is able to delay picking here for a week or more later than the other growers.
"The fruit is so different from each of the plots," explains Andrew. "I look for guys who think differently, who don't have the group think approach to vineyard management."
Unfortunately, like the other producers, Andrew's plots have been hit by hail in each of the last three years being hit particularly hard in 2013 with 85% loss for his Les Boucherottes red.
"I want to make wines that tell stories - that have finesse and elegance," he explains. "Texture is also very important. We sort the fruit by hand - berry by berry, which can take 14 hours." Andrew uses an old wooden basket press, which he thinks gives better results, in particular, clearer juice than an air-bag press. "With an airbag press the juice and the pressure exerted both travel in the same direction, whereas with a vertical press the pressure goes downward and the juice moves sideways." Andrew presses his grapes hard.
We started our tasting with the rare 2013 Savigny les Beaune Blanc, which is soft and richly textured balanced by good citric acidity in the long finish. Almost 100% Chardonnay this is a field blend with small amounts of other permitted varieties including Aligoté and Pinot Blanc that also happen to be planted in this plot.
Then we looked at two vintages of Les Boucherottes - 2013 and 2012. The 2013 is noticeably the lighter of the two years but with an attractive Pinot Noir nose and a velvety texture. My guess is that it will be ready to drink young. The 2012 is the riper vintage with noticeably more concentration and structure than the 2013. Les Boucherottes is just underneath Le Clos des Mouches owned by Drouhin.