Chapitre 20, that's our big news from Paris. A truly lovely wine and book shop in the Marais, opened some two years ago. The books are about wine by the way. We thought the combination was a marvellous one. Why is Chapitre 20 the only one of its kind to our knowledge at least? The academic air pervades the choice of wines. The gentleman in attendance is also scholarly and courteous.
It's worth mentioning that the shop had the only example of Galet's 'Dictionnaire encyclopedique des cepages' on which we had ever set eyes. Inevitably it was not for sale. There were also many wine maps and a series of post cards of the different French wine regions.
Wine discoveries were also not lacking:
an organic Nantais Gros Plant (sadly found to be corked but in principle interesting), a nice Cremant de Bourgogne and best of all a marvellous Chenin Noir (aka Pineau d'Aunis as everyone knows), mouthfillingly glorious but only 9.5% alcohol, proving once again that a low Abv. level doesn't preclude ample flavour.
We drank the bottle the same night and returned to buy two more to take back to London. the price was under E.10 if memory serves. Amazingly we found not only Gourdon's Chenin Noir at Astor Wines in New York but also their Chenin Blanc with an equally tasteful label.
A visit to a neighbourhood wine merchant, Balthazar unearthed another treasure; a Persan by Adrien Berlioz. We knew about Gilles Berlioz - nice to see the name is more widespread even if not in the musical world.
Persan was brought back from the dead by Grisard in Freterive and another less impressive example has emerged meantime. We have great hopes for this new emanation. Balthazar is not one of the most outstanding cavistes of Paris but they have some nice things. On a previous occasion we found a lovely 100% Negrette.
At the Marche des Enfants Rouges back in the Marais we discovered a new venture BiBoViNo which looked interesting. It is a sort of up-market attempt to popularise wine in a box. As can be seen even from our horrible photography, the shopfitting and styling is tasteful.
Grape varieties are not adventurous but if the venture is successful, who knows? We wish them well.
Meanwhile the girls at the Natural Wine booth-come-bar continue to have fun with this own-label offering of Pineau d'Aunis