30 October 2009

Amphora and beyond

Amphora at Domaine Viret, and my daughter Monique...
Maybe these are the stones you can smell in this wine...

We just finished a long lunch, kinda like our crew downloading after our very long Labour Weekend of Muskats@Millton and the Clos Ste. Anne en primeur. Annie cooked delicious pink roasted lamb with kaffir lime and rosemary, Hohepa Cheese, garden fresh green salad and estate olive oil. A host of wines have been enjoyed but primarily we did credit to an amazing wine from Domaine Viret, Amphora Rouge, from Saint Maurice/Eygues in the South of France. Fermented and aged for over three months in amphora the wine is blacker than hell, tannin that has harmonised onto the natural acidity that it resounds like a cathedral organ in the tempest of an Egyptian tomb. Most probably a lot of Grenache and Mouverdre here but you can smell, in the glass, the gravel in the entrance to this most enchanting cellar. I managed to keep a good glass full to "look at" over these next 4-5 days because this wine does not, as well, contain added sulphur dioxide. So it has nothing from science to keep it alive, only the spirit and the wholesome sense of place and intention. Truly amazing that it even exists. Annie and I visited here in July, met with Philippe and his son They were cordial, French and with a reserved welcome. But when they found out that we were part of Renaissance des Appelations, we were then part of the 'Metier' kinda like 'the business'... the arms opened. Domaine Viret is available in New Zealand at Wine Circle, Huapai, West Auckland.

James M

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