Tuesday, 10 July 2018


Last time
This time
Another visit to Paris. Another call on 007, Herve Lethielleux, owner and guiding spirit of L'Etiquette, the wine shop just over the Pont Louis Philippe on the Isle Saint Louis. L'Etiquette is our new go-to address for natural wine in Paris. Herve - sorry 007 - knows each and every producer personally. His stock changes constantly so bad luck if there was something you bought in February and attempt to replace in May.

The good news is there is always something new. As soon as we entered the shop, Herve remembered our obsession for unusual grape varieties and went straight to this bottle of Servant. Servant is a variety we had only found previously in a blend so we were delighted to find this 100% bottling. Servant also serves as a table grape and appears to come from the Languedoc. Rare.

Herve had this scrumptious Gamay on tasting. the winemaker Julien Altaber used to add a little Chardonnay or even Aligote hence the name Metisse but not in this vintage (2017). We at Slotovino have become so fixated on seeking the rarities that we have to remind ourselves not to forget great wine from familiar varieties.

Speaking of which we also bought this Chardonnay/Savignin blend from Lulu (Ludwig Bindernagel) of the Jura.

Back to the rare critters, we also boght this Tressallier. After having tasted hundreds of rare grape varieties we weren't sure if we had tried Tressallier before although the name is familiar enough.

Next was 'Anatheme,' a blend of Aramon (50%). Cinsault (30%), Grenache (10%) and Carignan (10%). A bit like a wine called 'Les mal aimes' we had once found by Pierre Cros (Picpoul noir, Alicante Bouchet, Carignan and - you guessed it, Aramon). We rather like these unorthodox blends.

Now this is what we call an orange wine. Just look at that colour! It's a Muscat from Brand et Fils of Alsace.

Note; Paysan Vigneron

The Brands call themselves Artisans Vignerons but one Remi Poujol calls himself 'Paysan Vigneron.' Commendable.

With so many bottles, we are no longer sure this Folle Blanche was from L'Etiquette but it could have been since Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin is organic. Folle Blanche is very refreshing when made in this style.

Finally, a Chenin Blanc from old vines grown not in the Loire but in Aveyron. We have come late in the day to Chenin Blanc possibly having been put off by some cheap and nasty examples of which there are quite a few but good Chenin is wonderfully aromatic and is very handy in food pairing.

On to 'Au Nouveau Nez' a great place we had discovered some years back but unjustly neglected since.

 Was it our imagination or had it become more of a wine bar and perhaps less of a caveiste since we first saw it? In any case it was hopping.

This where things get a bit hazy. We bought a bottle of something very interesting here but can't remember what. It may be one of the above. But it's the one that got away that we remember; a 100% Seyval Noir. Worries about the quantity we were planning to take home led us to resist this purchase but it haunted us to such a degree we returned to the shop the next day only to find it closed. Wikipedia has it;

While Seyval Noir was created in France, the grape is hardly planted there. It is not listed on the country's official registry of wine grape varieties nor is it permitted for use in any Appellation Controlle wines. Some experimental plantings of the grape do exist at Domaine Ganevat in Jura where it is used in a blend for a nouveau table wine. Outside France the grape is planted to a limited extent in Quebec where it used for both red and rosé wines as well as vinegar production.

In compensation we added to our Negrette collection with this example from 'Le repaire de Bacchus,' As already remarked in this blog, it is difficult to find Negrette that's nor blended with some Syrah. That dumbs the unique taste of Negrette down in the same way we reckon Lagrein does for Schiava in St. Magdalena. Strange how people like to homogenise grapes with strong characters.

To celbrate our rather mad spree, we nabbed a bottle of the Cremant de Bourgogne Extra Brut by Pierre-Marie Chermette. This Blanc de Blancs (aka Chardonnay) is stocked by the nice traditional shop on the Rue Francois Miron, Faubourg St. Antoine called appropriately Caves du Marais. The owner lived for a number of years in Australia so has wider horizons than the mostly French selection might suggest. He certainly knows how to pick a great Cremant de Bougogne, something we had once thought was an oxymoron. Now we think of it Moutard's Cremant de Bougogne is also excellent. It's one of life's mysteries why these wines don't seem to catch on whereas others (um... Prosecco) do. At .16 might it be that the Chermette is too expensive or is it just marketing?

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