Sunday, March 22, 2015

9 natural wines I’ve enjoyed in Paris this week

It’s not often I spend a whole week drinking natural wine but I’ve been in Paris with my husband who drinks nothing else, given the chance. And we’ve been hanging out in restaurants and bars that have natural wine lists.

So here are a few things we’ve enjoyed, where we’ve drunk them and what we ate with them. As usual I’ve rated them from green to red - see my traffic lights system, right.

X Bulles at Le Mary Celeste 

A  super bone-dry pet nat made from melon de Bourgogne from muscadet producer Vincent Caillé  Great with oysters. (See my recently updated review of the restaurant). N/A in the UK. GREEN TO AMBER

Le Temps d’Aimer Sorcellerie 2012 at Sauvage

A new one on me, this dry chenin from Francois Maudet’s Le Temps d’Aimer just south of Angers was delicately peachy but with the acidity to make it a great match with oysters (yes, again). See my review of Sauvage in the previous post - I think only they stock it. GREEN TO AMBER

Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet 2013 Vin de Pays de l’Ardèche Blanc at Au Passage

I’ve enjoyed Hervé Souhaut’s syrah before but not tried this richly textured blend of Roussanne and Viognier. It sailed through our starters of salmon with beets and horseradish, salt cod with saffron aioli. and roast Jerusalem artichokes. Les Caves de Pyrène GREEN TO AMBER

Le Vendangeur Masque 2013 Bourgogne Blanc, de Moor at Le Servan

Confusingly this seems to be labelled as Chablis in some markets and Bourgogne in France but it’s very fine either way - beautifully crisp and precise. My mate Fiona ordered a case (from Les Caves de Pyrène) she enjoyed it so much. Spot on with tête de porc with cockles and celery and gravlax of trout with endive and orange. GREEN

Muxagat Tinta Barrocca 2013 at Le Servan
One of the few non-French wines on this list, a deliciously vibrant unoaked Portuguese red from Mateus Nicolau de Almeida of Quinta do Monte Xisto in the Douro (see this interesting background profile from Wine Detective Sarah Ahmed.)  Very good with a robust, sticky beef stew with carrots and black sesame. GREEN

La Stoppa Ageno 2005 at Le Baratin

No real excuse for ordering this as we have several bottles at home but it’s rare to come across a 2005 let alone for €7.50 a glass. Deep, deep orange (as you can see below) with an exotic flavour of quince. Perfect with paté, braised duck and gorgonzola (not all on the same plate, obviously). Les Caves de Pyrène. AMBER

Camerlengo Accamilla 2013 at Heimat

Not quite in the same league as the Ageno but still very young, a beguilingly floral skin contact Malvasia from Basilicata. Very good with a deeply savoury starter of veal tongue. Vini Italiani in the UK has the 2011vintage for £21. AMBER

Sang Neuf, Vuillaud 2013, Beaujolais at Heimat

The name says it all. This unusual Beaujolais really did smell of blood, iron and freshly dug earth which obviously won’t make it to everyone’s taste. Great with a robustly spicy seafood pasta though. AMBER TO RED

Koforobé 2013 Gregory Guillaume from L’Etiquette

L’Etiquette on L’isle Saint-Louis is one of our favourite wine shops (pop by if you’re in the neighbourhood for their Saturday tastings). An unusual blend from Alba La Romaine in the Rhône, marrying peppery syrah with fresh redcurranty merlot. No added sulphur, fining or filtering - a simple vin de soif. 17€ GREEN TO AMBER

Interestingly when I went through my notes and snaps I found we drank more white than red, maybe a reflection of the style of food we were eating. A topic I’ll return to in due course.

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