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Wine Exchange remains on fire this fall with one of the best deals of the year from any merchant across the country for first growth quality Priorat? Hurry, I can't imagine this will be around for more than a few minutes...
...also, I'm sure most of you have seen this by now but it's worth a look and a chuckle. If you ever wondered how the wine trade operates, this humorous animation gives the consumer a glimpse into the Glengarry Glen Ross meets Forrest Glen mentality that pervades the industry - one where selling is the only motivation, not the consumer's best interest. Unfortunately, this video contains far more truth than fiction. WARNING: coarse and crude language:
- Jon Rimmerman *********************** 2009
This is a long email today but the wine should be well-worth your time.
The hype over 2009 across Europe is heating up and (from what I hear from respected sources) it is not all talk.
While any statement on the vintage is a complete generality at this point (and somewhat nonsensical), it appears that certain regions have the chance to produce examples on par with the finest of their type and others will not be far behind. Many have referenced 1990 as a comparison - not as to style but more in line with success across the board in nearly every important region of Europe. The vintage seems to be a synthesis of 2005 and 1989 with a slight dose of 2003 thrown in (not in an alarming way but in full-on skin extractive way). For older vintage comparisons, think 2005 meets 1959 or even 1947. In other words, this will not be a vintage for the faint of heart but it should produce very long-lived wine with the potential to age for decades. In cooler or leaner regions (Beaujolais, Muscadet, Saumur, Cote Roannaise, Savoie, et al) the results appear to be downright staggering. In Bordeaux, the Left Bank wines are being compared with 1961 and 1959 with the Right Bank echoing 1947, 1955 and 1989. It also appears that Burgundy has had a "second mortgage" vintage (in the style of 2005 meets 1990 with an uncanny precision not often found in ripe years) and the South of France has produced wine that may even eclipse 2007 (although 2009 is a different animal - more in line with the above referenced 1989 meets 2005 meets 2003). In other words, wine aficionados have much to look forward to.
Here is a 2009 vintage assessment from one of the top domaines in the Cote d'Or (my translation is not perfect but you will get the idea). This is from the winemaker's mouth this morning and it was not uttered for public consumption or any type of marketing - it is his honest assessment on Dec 1st 2009: "The white wines - A very attractive aromatic profile is already taking shape, although some are still undergoing alcoholic fermentation. The wines display roundness and depth, with a liveliness that gives them a very nice harmony. This year, more so than in other vintages, each wine is a reflection of its terroir. The red wines - Attractive even to the eye, these wines are a beautiful deep, brilliant red colour. Just as impressive, the aromas of ripe red and black fruits are highlighted by the presence of spicy notes which develop after the bottle is opened. On the palate, it's a feast for all the senses. Right from the attack, the complexity can be perceived in the depth of the wine. Then a nice balance is revealed, sustained by round, silky tannins. On the finish, these rich wines, with a persistent flavour, leave a sensation of fulfillment."
To give you a tangible look into 2009, we present a region that was among the most successful of the year - Provence. To be blunt, Provence lives and dies by its rose' and 2009 has the chance to be the finest rose vintage (across the board) in decades. Contrary to what most US consumers believe, rose' is the most important wine produced in Provence and the majority of top estates reserve their best grapes for the pink liquid the region is famous for (not for their red or white wine).
As a glimpse into the success of the year, one of our favorite vintners (Philippe Guillanton of Chateau Margui) has agreed to do something quite unusual - press and vinify his first-grade estate rose' on your behalf and ship it the day it is placed in bottle - January, 2010. Basically, this wine is being made for you from some of the best material Provence has ever witnessed. It is not possible to obtain an example of Provence wine fresher than this unless you pulled it from the cellar rack yourself. Margui's Rose' has become one of the more decorated examples in the Varois with multiple gold medals and sommelier acclaim from throughout Europe. Margui graces one, two and three star Michelin wine lists from Alain Ducasse to the Louis XV in Monaco to Daniel in NY. They were even selected by Michelin starred establishments in Alsace and the Netherlands to represent the best of what Provence has to offer. In other worlds, this is not a fly-by-night operation but it is still a small family property with only a few workers and a fastidious owner/winemaker.
Which brings us to the 2009 Rose'.
This wine was hand-selected by Philippe Guillanton as he walked the rows of Margui in late September/early October and the combination of 100% organic/BIO Cinsault and Grenache that he picked appears to be outstanding. If Philippe's giggling euphoria regarding the quality of the grapes is any indication of what will be in the bottle, you are in for a treat. As a vintage comparison, Philippe believes this wine is superior to the 2007 Margui Rose which is a benchmark for the region.
(as an aside, there are times when a personal friendship means more than money and this is one of those occasions - Philippe could sell this wine on the open market in a heartbeat and receive double the price (or more) but he chose to honor a friendship and, ultimately, our customer base instead. In a sense, his innocence is refreshing. It brings to light an era and a time gone by when profit was not the ultimate motivation and a handshake was)
In sum, this is a wonderful chance to try something in its freshest capacity from a potentially great vintage (not to mention, it's a ridiculous bargain).
ONE PARCEL ONLY directly from the source with perfect provenance:
2009 Chateau Margui Coteaux Varois en Provence Rose' (our bottling will be the same as what he sends to Louis XV - it is his best expression)
Jon Rimmerman Garagiste Seattle, WA
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