Two weeks into my journey in France, Melissa joined me. The next day we took the TGV out of Paris to Angers. There, some fly by night but sweet (!) outfit delivered a rental car to the train station (and then later picked it up at our hotel, the unfabulous Blue Marine. Their contact info is www.locngo.com) for 45 euro, half the cost of everyone else. I fired up the car and drove the 20 minutes out to Savennires for the audience with big daddy of the biodynamic wine movement, Nicolas Joly.
At the wonderful lunch his wife prepped for us, we tasted the 2004 Coule which weighed in at 15% alcohol. I was amused that the Joly's consider ham infused carrot salad suitable for non-meat eaters. That was okay as there were potatoes and I am crazy about a good potato. Those tender rattes are my kind of foie gras. The pike-perch perfectly poached, meaty and sweet with a tangy lemony butter sauce and Nicolas' wife, a beautiful woman, long and lean with just the right amount of character lines in her face, baked the tart sour rye bread (she is very serious about throwing out the starter on Good Friday. Question I did not ask: are Jews supposed to honor this as well?). Bottles of supplements played centerpiece on the table.
Probably the most interesting gossip he told me was that large champagne houses are trying to stop small growers from marketing their own champagnes by threatening to pull their contracts with them for fruit.
This would be a very nasty big bully situation and I am on the job, trying to find out the truth here. Keep posted.
After lunch, Nicolas smoked his pipe around the fire, shaggy dog at feet, romantically talked about reading Steiner everyday and had this to say about Robert Parker. "It's very fortunate that Parker wasn't born an eskimo because he would have the whole world eating seal meat."