We might have successfully annoyed some of you by posting holiday pictures to the web as we were traveling south. But for those of you we haven’t reached and to talk a bit more about wine I’m writing a few lines about the first part of our trip.
After staying a night in Belfort I steered grandpa’s red Seat to Lyon, also known as “Little Paris”. It was a long time ago when I was in town the last time but it was as beautiful as I remembered it. Our AirBnB flat was situated well on the island just next to the start of the pedestrian precinct. A good location to discover the city (although coming by car might not have been the best idea – €28/day parking fee). What we did as good as Melanie could whose belly has reached the size of a solid water melon. Not having the fanciest dinners we still had many opportunities to get a warm welcome to the excellent cuisine of Lyon. Like this lunch we had at Chez Guillemette which is a little girly but the food comes taste and pretty without too many bells and whistles.
And it wouldn’t have been a good start without wine and cheese. There are countless fromageries, I went to Le Jardin De La Martinière as it was on the way to the wine shop and picked a few different ones. I like being in these shops with all the beautiful loafs smelling all those different flavors.
The Le Vin Des Vivants was the shop I had found on Google as being specialized in natural wine. A pleasant place to hang out:
I recognized very few of the bottles but one jumped into my eye immediately: a bottle of Le Canon, a no sulphur red connected to a very nice memory: when I had the pleasure of dining with Alice Feiring in New York last year she brought a bottle of this wine and I was fascinated watching her taste it as it developed getting more and more air, being put on ice for a couple of minutes, scribbling on the label. A must buy and a perfect wine to start the holiday.
The label doesn’t say more than the name of the wine but I remembered Alice talking about a Japanese winemaker in France so it was not hard to find Hirotake Ooka being the man behind the mysterious wine (here is a New York Times article about him). I’m not sure about the vintage but it might have been the 2012, it tasted fairly young. What would mean it was a Syrah with refreshing 12,5% alcohol, something you can achieve well in the Northern Rhône area. I got it a little chilled and it was really good. It was a bit fizzy and I think the expectable “red fruits” went to something like blueberry, a lot of minerals in any case balanced with a veggie bitterness and solid acidity. This bottle went down quickly, I should have bought more than one. Only thing I didn’t like was the plastic “Cork”.
I got more wines but only one was interesting enough to be mentioned. It’s called “Jour de Fête” and the name of the domaine is La Fontude, a small winery, biodynamic, sheep in the vineyards, all the good stuff. The 2012 vintage of this Languedoc white is made of 100% Terret Gris, an old variety of the region. And boy is this wine raw. Cloudy and definitively unfiltered this full bodied wine is yeasty (so a slightly unpleasant smell in the beginning) with an untamed (tartaric) acidity. I was struggling finding flavors besides white grapes initially but there was definitively some banana plus a veggie component, maybe white pepper. Also under €10 and definitively fun to drink. It will work very well with seafood I expect.