The day started with a lunch at Chez Casamir near the Gard du Nord. I was meeting with Jean Paul Gene, columnist with Le Monde magazine (out the last Friday in February). My publisher Jean Paul Rocher was joining, he was under the weather, with a cold. Never the less, the three of us knocked off two 2008s; Dard & Ribo Crozes blanc and Overnoy Plouss. Made the interview cheerier. Actually the interview was stimulating and it started with a joke ( I think.) "So, Alice, people might ask you if you've saved the world yet, but what we really want to know is if you've found love yet." I blushed, stammered and was relieved this was not captured on film. But I thought about that moment, as my spoon was in the vegetable soup, for days. I wasn't obsessing about the reality or my answer, but about the cultural differences between Americans and the French and I'm glad that love is still on their minds. The last question he asked was another that sat in my brain. 'You wrote that it is easier to have friends with different politics than different tastes about wine. Why?" I realized that wine is my political platform, and as it is also emotional. My closest friends can understand my taste, as they can also understand me. Connection is about being seen, is it not? As if a cloak has been removed and one stops being invisible? But politics? That needs diplomacy, it is rationale, a dear friend is a right wing republican. I know it's all about her father. But the fact that she and I share similar tastes (for wine and really flavors of all kind) make our friendship possible. I don't think we would share the same communal space if our connection was about belief and party line. After the two bottles I was a little loopy, had to rush to get dressed and get to Lieu Commun interview with Gault Millaut. Bert Celce (Wineterroirs.com) was taking the photos and was kind enough to give me some of them. When my publisher told me who was pouring at the event, I paced back and forth for about 30 minutes crying. I hoped I could keep from tearing up at night. In the privacy of my own apartment, sure. In France? It would have been too much information. At 6pm, pouring their wines at the signing were three of the book's heroes: Philippe Pacalet pouring the AOC 2007 Gevrey, Catherine Roussel, pouring '08 Gamay and Sauvignon #5 (showed gorgeously), and Pierre et Sophie (Larmandier-Bernier) with Terre de Vertus and the Blanc de Blanc. Marc Fèvre and I are laughing about something or other. The fact that they showed up for me and this, who cared about anything else? Flanking me was a friend I hadn't seen in 25 years, Honey-Sugar's ex-sister-in-law, Philippe Pacalet and his wife, Monica. That night we were back at Casamir. I was too fagged out to even speak but I squeaked out a pathetic and inadequate thank you. Two days later, wishing I had gone back to the newest bar a vin naturel in Paris, in the Passage des Panoramas, Coinstot Vino, but was plenty happy with a farewell lunch at Verre Vole with Jean Paul Rocher and his daughter Marie (I do love that place) I was off to Spain.
The tech sheet included full discloser of oak staves and micro ox. I can't say I got to taste what Egypt terroir is really like. Rather funny was in a google search I came across notes for the perfume Jardin du Nil 'Jardin du Nil opens with aldehydic floral notes and an odd “stinky” accord that's been described as 'dirty socks,' or 'locker room.' This could have worked for the wine as well! I can't say I really enjoyed this but it wasn't that bad either. I do think that a cement elevage might be a smarter choice. For more on this wine, it seems as if Christian Callec did the leg work for me.
I Clivi made gorgeous, if somewhat technical Fruilano wines. About the amphora craze Mario said, "Too much trouble keeping the green gunk out of them." Of particular joy were the 1999 Galea, honey and oxidation. In all no dogs. Try reading what Strappo has to say.
Erbaluna! I tasted these years ago and thought, in time these winemakers will come around. And did they. The barolos were gorgeous. The 2006 Vigna Rocche, yes, it had 14% alcohol but seemed fresh and infused with old-fashioned tannins and licorise. 2005, had a profound nose. Deep. Made me nostalgic and happy.