Next Wave of Eric Texier Wines to Leave France this Month

Many of you have already enjoyed the Brézème and Côte Rotie from Texier. Texier's Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1999 is now available in several states and is showing beautifully. This bottle can use decanting but already has a beautiful nose of lavender and garrique. The wine is elegant and concentrated and I'm blatantly pushing my own products! But with conviction.

The wine comes from two vineyards: 83-year-old Grenache vines planted in 1917 in the La Craux vineyard and a 50/50 blend of Grenache (with a little bit of syrah and field blends) and Mourvedre from 40-to-50-year-old vines in the Grand Coulet. La Craux is situated near Rayas and the Grand Coulet is near La Nerthe. I should mention that I have put in a reservation with Eric for 6 magnums from La Craux every year as my father was born in 1917 and to commerate the Russian Revolution.

The wines that are going to be picked-up by French trucking firms in Charnay this week include a range of wines from Provençe. They include:

1. A Côtes-du-Provençe Rosé 2000 that is 100% Tiburon. That's right, Tiburon. The wine comes from tiny yields of 20 to 25 hecto/hectare. Delicious Rosé that is not a bleeding of an overproduction but a wine vinified on its own.

2. A Côtes-du-Provençe Rosé 2000 that is from 40-year-old Grenache plantings. Again, a rosé that is vinified on its own, not a saignée.

3. A Cassis 2000 that is 100% Marsanne. This is not the Cassis that you mix into white wine but is an appellation in Provençe from a town close to Bandol. This wine, as with the two above, was raised in barrel, with no sulphur and finished the malolactic fermentation. Usually, the malos are blocked in Cassis, but given the small yields of 35 hectolitres/hectare, Texier was able to finish the malo. My firm chose a special bottling of Marsanne which we happened to like a lot. Traditionally, Cassis is a mix of Clairette, Ugni Blanc and Marsanne, but we happened to like the two barrels in Marsanne. So 50 cases will be available. The wine is honied, floral, long and round.

There is a lot more coming in the next few months. Texier is working feverishly to get all his labels, to bottle and to prepare shipments. This is a young firm and the logistics are somewhat overwhelming.

In the month that follows, we plan to have French truckers return to Charnay to pick-up the following wines:

1. A Brézème Mise Tardive 1999 -- this is a special bottling of Brézème that went through another six months of elévage and which is predominantly from old vines. More meat, more concentration than the first bottling of 1999 Brézème that has taken geekdom by storm.

2. Châteauneuf Blanc 2000 -- This is a special blend of older barrels (5-year-old and the oldest in this cuvée) that is being done for us. All Grenache Blanc from the Nothern part of Old Châteauneuf, from a vineyard called La Ferme Baban. These are 45-year-old vines that make the first Châteauneuf Blanc I am actually delighted to be selling. Texier was able to finish the Malos here and no one believe him. Prominent vignerons almost demanded to see the lab analysis. Again, as with the Casis, working at small yields has allowed Eric to finish the Malo and to avoid blocking the Malo to maintain acidity.

3. Brezemes Blanc 2000 -- 100% Rousanne. From the La Rollières vineyard. These vines are cuttings from Hermitage and were harvested at 18 hectolitres/hectare. Fabulous stuff.

There's also a bunch of reds. Old VInes from Vaison-la-Romaine, Seguret, Chusclan and St-Gervais. One of the great things about a blog is I can write about these tomorrow.

- Joe Dressner 5-10-2001 11:52 pm