The story throughout the south of France for the 2018 growing season was similar: an inordinate amount of rainfall from February through June engendered a rash of mildew that had growers scrambling, treating between five and ten times as much as usual in many instances. The weather pulled an immediate about-face in July, turning remarkably hot and remarkably dry—conditions which persisted until harvest. This whiplash effect stressed both vines and vignerons, to be sure, but happily the quality of the rosés from Provence is generally outstanding in 2018. The higher amount of rainfall led to rosés not burdened by unwelcome heaviness due to hyper-low yields, but the dryness of the latter part of the growing season prevented a sense of dilution in the final wines. In general, the 2018 rosés from the south of France display impeccable balance, superb drinkability, and a streak of classicism that sets them above the 2017s.
2015 Domaine de la Petite Mairie, Bourgueil Rouge “Butte de Tyron” Loire Valley, France. A new domaine to me, Domaine de la Petite Mairie, is owned and managed by Corinne and James Petit, an enthusiastic couple who passionately care for their vines in the Bourgueil region of France’s Loire Valley, making studied and elegant versions
LOIRE VALLEY …. LOIRE VALLEY Although the Loire Valley’s wine regions experienced a few episodes of frost during the 2017 growing season—a calamity that seems to becoming de rigueur in these post-climate-change pseudo-winters and early flowerings—they were thankfully spared many of the stressors that plagued the deep south. None of our five rosé-producing growers throughout the region
The Bourgueil Rosé, as always, is 100% Cabernet Franc, produced via equal parts direct press and saignée. In 2016, James Petit suffered shocking losses due to the severe April frost. Production is down about 85%, but fortunately he was able to reserve roughly the same amount of rosé for us that we typically receive (the
There are few more immediately reassuring sights in an Old World wine cellar than a wall of large, weathered wooden casks. Besides being beautiful to behold, they imply a continuity of tradition—an unbroken resistance to the sleek, technical winemaking practices that have stripped so many modern wines of their souls. The way of the foudre
It has been awhile since we drank a Bourgueil from James Petit so tonight’s experience was delightful for a number of reasons. First, the ’09 “Galluches” is showing brilliantly. Our previous encounters with this wine revealed a wine that was reticent, still youthful and timid. Now, the wine is in bloom. It has a brilliant