NEWSLETTER II MMXVII
A very belated Happy New Year from all of us at Gergovie Wines and 40 Maltby Street. The beginning of the year saw all of us scattered across the globe (Australia, Venezuela, Japan, France, Sweden, and Cornwall), which meant we were able to have one of our chefs Will Gleave take the reigns for our first day back in January. It was packed all night and we were so happy to have him slaving away at the stove. On our return to London we were greeted by the arrival of a mountainous quantity of wine, some from new producers and much from old favourites.
We are very happy to have started working with Jean Ginglinger from Pfaffenheim in Alsace. He was showing his wines at our Fête du Vin in Chassignolles last summer, and was soon a fast favourite among the visitors, both for his personality and his wines. He farms 6.5 hectares of vines about 12 kilometres south of Colmar, this includes two Grand Cru sites - Steinert and Zinnkoepfle - where his family have been making wine since 1610. Jean began conversion to biodynamics in 1997, gaining certification in 2001, stopped using any sulphur in 2004, and in recent years has abandoned the use of mechanised farming tools in favour of a horse called Boris. Tasting with him on that cool morning in the Auvergne was exactly the tonic we needed to face the riotously busy day ahead. We have managed to obtain eight of his white cuvées, which will appear on our list soon.
And now to an old favourite. Patrick Bouju of Domaine La Bohème was one of the first winemakers we started working with way back in 2010. Based in the commune of Saint Georges-sur-Allier in the Auvergne, Patrick farms old vine Gamay d'Auvergne, Pinot Noir and some Chardonnay on heavily basaltic soil. Over the years Patrick's wines have acquired a cult status, but he has faced several vintages of bad weather and low yields. To combat this and to allow him freedom to experiment he has begun producing some wines with grapes bought from growers who work with the same ethos as he does. One we have had in stock for a while, his Rebus (a blend of Chardonnay, Tressalier and Vermentino), the other two arrived over Christmas: Prem's (a Beaujolais Gamay made in a nouveau style); and Syrah (made in a primeur style with grapes sourced from Anthony Tortul of La Sorga). They are quite different in style from the wines made from his own vines but are immensely delicious nonetheless, and still show his personality.
FROM THE KITCHEN
The bar has been full of the smell of rhubarb this month and the kitchen has been graced by a burst of vibrant colour, so we thought we would share a recipe.
Rhubarb & Rose Jelly:
Cut your washed and trimmed rhubarb into roughly one inch pieces and then weigh it. Measure one quarter of the rhubarb weight in caster sugar and macerate with the cut rhubarb over night. The next day there should be quite a lot of liquid drawn; add the rhubarb, sugar and all the juice to a nonreactive baking dish, cover with tin foil and place in a 100-120°C oven for roughly half an hour or until it is fully soft but still holding together. Allow this to cool.
Remove the juice from the baking dish and measure; it is time to add the gelatine. We use six leaves of gelatine per litre of liquid, but if you want to make a large showpiece style jelly add one or two more. Bloom the leaves in a little water and then melt in a bit of the juice on the stove. Stir in the mixture to the rest of the juice. Add rose water to taste - remember a little goes a long way, but you also want to be able to tell that it's rose. Pour the jelly mixture into bowls or moulds and leave to set in the fridge (the larger the mould the longer it will take to set).
Recently we have served our jelly with the pieces of cooked rhubarb and a scoop of sour cream sorbet.
Along with the wines of Jean Ginglinger and Patrick Bouju mentioned above, we have Jean-Christophe Garnier's wines back in stock. He farms about eight hectares of vines in Layon and the 2015s already taste as if they have a few more years under their belts and this is probably down to JCG's slow and gentle pressing in his old basket press.
La Roche-Bézigon 2015
La Roche 2015
Les Tailles 2015
(Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon)
Gamay Aunis 2015
(Chenin - sweet)
Fresh in from the Ardèche, the long-awaited return of Gilles and Antonin Azzoni. Another winemaker we have been working with from day one, Gilles has been joined in recent vintages by his son Antonin, and we can happily report that the wines are still as fiercely delicious as before.
Hommage à Robert 2015
OUR PICKS THIS MONTH
Daniele Piccinin, Arione 2013
100% Durella (also known as Rabbiosa, "angry", on account of its naturally high acidity) from the Veneto. Daniele uses the sweet juice from grapes that he dries after the harvest to start the secondary fermentation. Rich with an ochre hue, the typical acidity of the Durella helps to keep this sparkler well-balanced and sophisticated.
L'Egrapille, CNT 2015
Another new producer for us and again from the Auvergne. We have known Catherine and Manu for a while but this is the first year we have managed to secure some of their wines. The CNT is a fizzy cider made from apples, medlars, and quinces from abandoned orchards on the outskirts of Clermont-Ferrand. It has some sweetness, but unusually for continental ciders it also has some English bitterness.
Jean-Christophe Garnier, La Roche 2015
From JCG's older plot of Chenin grown on schist and marl in the Layon valley in Anjou. This already has the opulence of a much older Chenin and we are very much looking forward to tasting it again in a few years.
Catherine & Gilles Vergé, Coteaux des Quarts 2004
A Viré-Clessé from southern Burgundy, this wine comes from old Chardonnay vines grown on Jurassic limestone. Gilles Vergé uses no oak at all with his wines, and this in particular speaks of the terroir and pure Chardonnay. It is as delicious as it is fascinating.
Patrick Bouju & Aurélien Lefort, Mixture Pifou 2015
After a difficult vintage, both Aurélien and Patrick decided to combine some of their Gamay d'Auvergne for a one-off experiment. It has all the dense, mineral fruit we have come to expect from both of them; quaffable yet complex and long lasting.
La Sorga, En Rouge et Noir 2013
A blend of Grenache Noir, Blanc and Gris from vines in Faugères. Anthony Tortul harvests the grapes from one of many plots he works with and vinifies them in his chai in Béziers. The nine months spent on the lees gives this an almost unctuous texture, combined with an elegance akin to a Pinot Noir from the cool of much further North.
ORDERS & DELIVERY
You can buy our wines to take away from our bar and warehouse at 40 Maltby Street.
We offer a 10% discount on cases of 12, and can deliver within London and beyond.
Call us on 020 7237 9247
OR email firstname.lastname@example.org