…spontaneously fermenting

Robert Smith-Hald and Cuvée Raoul 2006

This being my 100th post here on vinosseur, what better topic than the two things I love: music & wine.  And what better day to publish this post – on my birthday!

This video was recorded on the 23rd of April at Café Herman in Leikanger, Norway. It was recorded with my old Nokia, so forgive me,  primarily for the audio quality.  If English is your language, then skip to 1’25” in the video (the first 1’20” is in Norwegian) for the English intro and dedication.

The artistRobert Smith-Hald.  Born in West Chester County, Pennsylvania into a secluded, nearly self-sufficient religious community called Camphill.  Robert’s upbringing, according to him, has definitely shaped his relationship to music quite keenly.  His lyrics and melodies reflect who he is and where he comes from.  Please also visit his MySpace page.

The wine:  2006 Domaine Le Mazel Cuvée Raoul – Gérald & Jocelyne Oustric have been making wine in the Southern Rhône without the use of sulfur since 1998.  The 2006 is a blend of Syrah and Grenache (approx 70/30) spontaneously fermented, macerated for 30 days, stored in cement and then bottled without filtration,   fining or the addition of sulfur.  One of my favorite wines and one of the most stable natural wines I know.  The wine improves for up to 10 days after opening and doesn’t begin to fade until around day 18.  I love it!

A very sponty nose with aromas of dark berries lifted by red fruit, farmyard and just enough volatility to make me want to jump up out of my chair and dance! Fantastic concentration and structure,  gripping tannins and enough freshness to help get the bottle down in minutes.  The 12-12.5% alcohol makes it also quite food friendly.

Enjoy the video!

Robert Smith-Hald & Cuvée Raoul from vinosseur on Vimeo.

Category: 1 WINE, 9 WINE THOUGHTS, Events, natural wine (100% living wine), Robert Smith-Hald and Cuvée Raoul 2006


Jacob's Bar & Kjøkken Wine List Updated for April 2010

Lot’s of new wines this month. La Stoppa’s Ageno brings my “orange wine” count up to 7 titles.  I would like more orange wines because they’re not only food friendly, they’re addicting as crazy!  There are many out there to chose from, but most I am afraid are not good in my opinion, merely fashion statements at most.

I am happy to have exclusivity on the Domaine de La Gramière wines in Norway (at least on this first shipment) – great wines made by some fellow ex-pats living in Southern France. These “sponty” wines have super clear fruit and great freshness!

A truly amazing Grüner by another new comer to Norway, Meinklang.

And, a new Dolcetto to replace Luca Roagna’s Dolcetto, one of my favorites up to now.  Principiano’s wines, including this Dolcetto, are brand new to Norway, and I feel will take no time at all to get discovered.

Over the course of the next month, I hope to add some (more) exciting rosé’s to kick off our Norwegian Spring and Summer! (Although as I write this post, the spring has all but vanished as I look out my window at the hail coming down from the sky!)

Here are my new additions:

  • Domaine d’Elise Chablis 2008 – Lutte Raisonée – Burgundy, France
  • Meinklang Grüner Veltliner 2009 – Biodynamic & one hell of a Grüner for the money! – Burgenland, Austria
  • La Stoppa Ageno 2005 – A natural orange wine – Thanks Tomasz! – Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • Weingut Langmann Schilcher Klassik 2009 – Steiermark, Austria
  • Stéphane Tissot Poulsard Vieilles Vignes Sans Soufre 2007 – Nice, delicate fruit.  A hint of oak – Jura, France
  • Domaine de La Gramière Côtes du Rhône 2005 – Close to natural, just a pinch of sulfur! – Southern Rhône, France
  • Domaine de La Gramière Peter’s Vineyard Syrah 2007 – Close to natural, just a pinch of sulfur, please decant me and give me some air!Southern Rhône, France
  • Domaine Leon Barral  Faugères 2007 –  Languedoc-Roussillon, France
  • Ferdinando Principiano Dolcetto d’Alba Sant’ Anna 2008 – Biodynamic with  just a pinch of sulfur. Super clear fruit! – Piemonte, Italy

Click here for new wine list

Category: 1 WINE, 9 WINE THOUGHTS, Jacobs Bar & Kjøkken Wine List Updates, natural wine (just about)




Vinosseur is the company name of sommelier Joseph R. Di Blasi. is his web page where he writes about wine, food, restaurants and other gastronomic experiences.

Joseph has a special place in his heart for quality wines from the old world, especially France & Italy, with a strong focus on Organic, Biodynamic and Natural wines.

Joseph grew up in Italy and California, but left The States in 2002 and now resides in Poland.

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