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A tasting note: 2009 Jean-Pierre Robinot Concerto d'Oniss

 

Of the many many many wines I have tasted over the years, Jean-Pierre produces some of the most vinous wines I have ever had the satisfaction of tasting.  So, to summarize even before I begin this tasting note, this wine is super-vinous. What do I mean by that? When you pour the wine, there are two things you notice right away: the beautiful light pomegranate color and the way the wine pours from the bottle. It pours like you are pouring a light oil. Even when you swirl the glass, it seems as though you have a glass of pomegranate-colored oil. It appears thicker than other wines.  And nothing has been added to this wine to make it this way. It’s just great quality grapes that have been squeezed just right.  So, why this oily appearance and texture? That my friend is what we call structure and concentration that you can not only see, but that you can taste.

The labels? Well, Jean-Paul has either taken the photo or painted the picture himself to create his labels. All of his labels are unique and each wine and vintage has a different label. They are as unique as his wines.The Concerto d’Oniss is his base wine and is made from 100% Pinea d’Aunis grown in the Loire Valley (mostly around Tours, Anjou & Saumur) as naturally as possible, avoiding ALL treatments to the vines.  A grape dating back to the Medieval Times, not many producers grow this grape thanks to the ever-increasing demand for more well-known varieties. Thankfully, there are a small handful of producers who still work with this grape. I have tasted the wines from 4 or 5 different producers working with this grape and have noticed certain common characteristics: lightish red color, lowish alcohol, aromas and scents of grapefruit, light pepper & incense, & small red berries.

After manually harvesting these small, dark grapes, whole clusters were dropped into fiberglass tanks without any additions whatsoever, at any point.  No temperature control means partial carbonic maceration for the first few days.  Maceration went on for about 3 months then the wine was bottled without fining or filtering.

After tasting this wine many times and in various vintages, I’m finally writing about it.

Date tasted:  Sunday February 26th, 2012 18:30

Appearance:  viscous viscous viscous! See photo for color

Nose:  grapefruit, incense, pepper, little red berries, forrest floor with some faint reductive hints.  Hints of wild strawberries. Hints of cough syrup, the oily kind that leaves a slightly bitter smell and taste. Even looks like cough syrup

Palate:  grapefruit, smooth tannins, but more grippy than I remember. Great acidity, but smooth and absolutely drinkable. Red cranberries. Very rustic and again the oily exture like all of his wines. Slighty metallic, which I have not found on any previous bottles. Wild strawberries, but without the sugar. Pomegranate.

There is a certain weight to this wine that I find on all of Robinot’s wine’s. They seem particularly viscous, oily and heavy, but light on their feet at the same time (strange but true). The concentration and structure of this wine, of his wines, are among the best I have tasted in the natural wine world.   Texture is a bit like a dessert wine minus the sugar

Monday February 27th, 18:30

Yes, yes I did leave some in the bottle for tonight. Crazy, but I am super happy I did

Appearance:  Not much change that I could see, but perhaps a tad darker

Nose:  More aromas of incense and pepper.  Deeper fruit (still red).

Palate:  right when the wine hits the mouth, it’s that oily texture again. Impressive. A salty impact I didn’t get yesterday. Also a depth I didn’t get yesterday.  A certain sweet aftertaste I can only compare to sour fruit that ends on a sweet note giving them that perfect balance.  medium length and still as refreshing as yesterday. Softer tannins today.

I am reminded of why this has always been one of my favorite wines. it is unique, the texture is magnificent, it’s fresh, and it’s drinkable.  I just noticed that nowhere in this tasting note have I mentioned the alcohol, and that is because it so not noticeable that it isn’t even an issue. At 12% you wouldn’t expect it to be, but i have tasted many wines where even low alcohol can put a wine out of balance

Some final words to summarize the wine: structure, concentration, balance, drinkablity.

 

 

 

 

 

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, France, Jasnières, Loire, natural wine (100% living wine)

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A tasting note: 2008 Laureano Serres Montagut Blanc Terme de Guiu

Although up to now I have only tasted the wines of Laureano Serres a dozen times (at most), his now extinct Vinyes Arrencades Blanc 2008 was in my top 9 favorite wines list that I published two years ago. It was a wine Laureano made only 500 bottles of from an almost 100 year-old Macabeo vineyard. Unfortunately, he no longer makes this wine because the vines were attacked by mildew rendering the vine’s ability to photosynthesize all but destroyed. We were lucky to receive 24 bottles at Jacob’s. The wine was a cloudy yellow with deep fruit and minerals, and with every sip, evolving (I have one bottle left in my cellar which will give birth to a full tasting note sometime in the future).

That was the only wine I had as a reference to the wines of Laureano. You can imagine my anticipation when I sent a friend to go visit him and she came home with a bottle of his 2008 Blanc Terme de Guiu for me! I waited almost a year, and finally cracked the bottle. On Laureano’s website, he gives very detailed information about his wines, but I neglected to read it. I sometimes prefer to taste something before knowing too much about it. So, you can imagine my surprise when i pulled the cork and started to pour. Orange! Now, i didn’t expect that! My anticipation level just shot through the roof, I must admit.

Here is some nerdy stuff about the wine:

The grapes come from Terme de Guiu, a small rural property (finca) located in Vilalba dels Arcs (Terra Alta) municipality in Tarragona (Catalunya). The vines are approximately 25 years of age.

The south-southeast facing vineyard is cultivated traditionally and naturally. The soil is Clayey-calcareous.

Grape mix is approximately 94% Macabeo 5% Granacha blanca & 1% Colombard. Yield is approximately 45 hl/ha (2.7 kg/vine). ‘The wine is vinified in inox (steel) in an oxidative style (not reductive). 1000 bottles produced.

And more details:

Vineyard naturally grown without chemical fertilizers. Sulfur treatments.
Harvested by hand. Maceration with the skins for 2 nights (Vaslin horizontal press), fermentation with its own yeast for about 14 days, rests in stainless steel without racking in 2009. During this whole process, no outside yeast has been used nor have sulfites been added for conservation, or any other product. Just grapes. (this alone does not make a great wine, but it is important in my opinion to produce a great wine).

Analysis:

Alcohol 13.5%

Total Acid 5.0 g/l

Volatile Acid 0.55 g/l

Total sulfur 7 mg/l

Ok.. on to the good stuff

Date tasted: February 6th, 2012 17:15

Appearance: as i mentioned, i expected a cloudy yellow wine, and in fact it was pumpkin-colored and cloudy 🙂 see photos.

Nose: pumpkin (with spices, not vegetal), hay, fennel with hints of mineral. No oak. thank you.

Palate: Deep deep deep. Refreshing. Great acid. Alcohol is refreshing. Pumpkin (not vegetal, rather aromatic like pumpkin pie). Hay. Fennel on the finish. Structured and deep. Serious yet feminine tannins. Looooong

The best way to sum this wine up is that there is no interference in the wine. No sticky edges. No stinging acid or alcohol. Tannic, but not too. Nothing prevents this wine from going doing easily, except that the bottle was emptied quite rapidly. Absolutely fresh and drinkable. Not to be mistaken for thin. This wine is not thin, rather it is perfectly balanced and it left us wishing we had more. This wine had perfectly juicy, ripe acidity which I am starting to realize is one of the most important factors rendering a wine drinkable, refreshing and delicious. Ripe acidity is perhaps also one of the hardest wine components to get right I have noticed.

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, natural wine (100% living wine), orange wine, Spain, Tarragona

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Vinosseur is the company name of sommelier Joseph R. Di Blasi. Vinosseur.com 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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