Thursday 29 June 2017

'Wah Wah' 2015, Brendan Tracy

It's no secret I’m more a cold gluggz neon fun lemonade sun buzz juice kinda wine drinker more than, say, a serious one. More magic hour water sparkle lake side than white tablecloth inside. Turbid, semi carbonic poppers high on energy high on acid. More into ice than structure. Red over white.

This is one of those wines.

This is made by Brendan Tracy, surely the only man from New Jersey to move to the Loire via San Francisco by way of hardcore punk and Thierry Puzelat. This is true.

Tasting notes:

Blackcurrant starburst candies and cheap ice pops sours. Cold pressed cherry soda lemonade spritzers that sparkle fizz and pop in your mouth like the Willy Wonka robe purple Nerds ohmygod remember Nerds?! Buzzy summer love plus some stink. Drink cold with chips.


"Wah Wah" 2015
Brendan Tracey
Grolleau, Côt
Touraine, Loire


Le Carton @ Dirty Art Department

Le Carton is a pop up natural wine bar

17, 18 June 2017 for Sandberg Institute Grad. Show 

More Le Carton pop ups:


Thursday 15 June 2017

Notes on Baptiste Cousin "Marie Rose" 2015 12 days open

These are the important things that happened the week I didn't post this: we got a cat we called Ibie who is in fact more mushroom than cat, it's been warm enough to swim and I had a glass of Baptiste Cousin's 2015 "Marie Rose" that’s been o p e n on the kitchen counter for 12 days which is to say two weeks minus two days and it was great and I mailed Baptiste bonjour to tell him so, and have you lost very much of the harvest?

He mailed back to say he'd lost half but still hope to see you then. 

Tasting notes:

Pale rose petal pinks have turned to washed out dried rusty blood colour or watered down cola if you will or rather. Still hints of balanced window sill bowls of potpourri but now it’s more wood and minty earth and bark (eucalyptus) than ‘dem dusty blush roses. Tastes more of jumbo chewy raisins in tiny paper boxes or old sun faced lady prunes preserved in wax paper than neon strawberry late night discos spinning lights and dancing, moving, ‡grooving‡, quick — cold juicy drink to re·fresh like how it used to be, like lemonade. Now it's chocolatey. Sugar crystals on pot-reduced jam fruit rich. Deep like Riffault gets deep but stayin' fresh.


"Marie Rose" 2015
Le Batossay, Baptiste Cousin
Grolleau Gris
Martigné-Briand, Loire


Sunday 11 June 2017

'Commendatore' 2015, Domaine de l'Octavin

This is summer time blended then bottled. Flip flops flopping-flipping, blender-blitzed lemonade sipping ice cubes clinking shaded under straw hat or wind waving breezy tree. It’s raspberry picking backs bending searching through the prickly green and berry fatness-feeling and eating overloaded slice of peach pie thick crust with your hands paper plate, peaches dropping. Dripping ice pops, watermelon, tomatoes sticky down your chin and summer evening crickets cricketing fields rippling, corn — then marshmallows — grilling.


"Commendatore" 2015
Domaine de l'Octavin
Arbois, Jura

Buy from Clavelin.


Wednesday 7 June 2017

'Arbois Pupillin' 2014, Adeline Houillion and Renaud Bruyere

The parties were last week, they told us. You should have been here.

‘Here,’ then, was Arbois; a village in the Jura but as I’d never heard of the Jura, more importantly the place in France where they make Comté and where we were going to have a holiday. At the time we had no idea it was a ‘thing’ in the wine world, much less a thing in the natural wine world — the only time we’d heard about either was in the context of, ‘Try this. It’s a Ploussard from Arbois and it’s natural,’ in other words, no context, just a string of words we didn’t know the meaning of. But it was tried and it was w o w and this causally herbaceous, vivacious, pink like punch, rose-on-the-nose, perfectly chilled Ploussard was, in a word: redefining. Was in six more words: 

drink — ever

But like I said, at the time it was still really about us having a holiday.

The idea was to set up our tent, walk, cook outside and drink wine during the day and maybe do a few tastings because I think we vaguely knew you could, this being France. So when we saw the signs hanging pretty much everywhere that said you can, welcome to the home of the Ploussard (also Poulsard) we thought great! and that we’d start with this Bruyère guy because it was his Ploussard (a 2013) we’d drunk that night months before.

And that’s when we heard about the parties or rather, that they were over.

No one could believe that we were here to taste wine maintenant a week after the rest of the world and didn’t you know about the harvest? The old wine had been drunk, the new stuff was in tanks and everyone had things to do; the mood, sober. Evidently we were the only souls who didn’t know that the 'non-stop dégustation' had, in fact, all, this week, stopped; that they’d just left out the signs. 

And we didn’t know. So, safe in our ignorance, we went ahead knock-knock knocking on barn doors, open doors, front doors and cellar doors, meeting many a winemaker, their mothers / wives / dogs in the pursuit of something to drink during the day before retiring to Bistro des Claquettes each night to read our books because it had wine and light and our tent didn’t. The next day we’d start in Bruyere’s cellar.

Here's what I remember. 

Renaud was making bread or maybe his wife Adeline was, and there was a roll of those happy little crescent moons lying on top of the microwave and a kid in a highchair. We’d dropped in unannounced and were told to come back later. We killed time on a bench. It’s later: we’re led down under the house to the cellar to go through the wine-thief hullabaloo drop-drop, swish-swish, smell, taste, spit (we didn't spit), repeat-thing because that’s what the Danish guy who'd joined our tasting was doing (spitting) and he made it clear he knew what he was doing everything about wine you needed to know, ever.

We climbed the ladder to look into the tanks and he told us about the guy who blacked out from the CO2, fell in and died. How you should always do it in twos. I remember being surprised when he told us he made only a thousand odd bottles of the Ploussard a year, that we could only buy six — both figures sounded incredibly little. And obviously we’d thought ‘harvest’ meant something different to ‘call in family and friends’ because we couldn’t believe it when he said that’s what he does. But what did we know? We’d never been in a wine cellar before. Anyway, the indigenous yeasts sounded cute and we left and we didn’t even know he was a big deal.

On Sunday we invited Jan to come drink to the Jura with us. He brought some bottles for the cause and we ate leftover potato salad and listened to Nirvana with the doors open. At the time of writing we have two bottles left. 

Tasting notes:

Smells like barn with fluoro pinky / peach glossy tears streaming down the sides of your glass. Delicate while prickly, rose-floral patterns on your dress, funky. Fresh hay but also vegetal. Morning grapefruit juice. Spicy. Still a helluva lot of energy: racy, incredibly fresh and snappy. Ethereal, and I’ve already said energy. Candy. Fast moving lights, pale like a rosé but structured like a Burgundy. Fermenting strawberries, punchy and I can’t believe I’ve not yet said juicy so, juicy, juicy, juicy.


"Arbois-Pupillin" 2014
Renaud Bruyere, Adeline Houillion
Puppillin, Jura


Friday 2 June 2017

The marshrutka ride from hell and some pictures from Georgia

Initially when we saw the trucks we thought we were lucky. We were on the Georgian Military Highway headed north to Kazbegi, just south of the Russian border. We were going to hike. I wanted to see some wild, no wine. 

We'd been banging around in the back of the marshrutka (Georgian public transport) for three hours when we hit the whiteout. Actually, first we hit the windowless, un-lit, pot-holed, two-way soviet tunnel — then we hit the whiteout.

And then we saw the trucks. Miles of them lined up, parked along the side of road going to Russia. We thought thank god it's Sunday. Thank god they're not driving.

Turns out higher up it wasn't snowing so we could hike.

Turns out there were also trucks parked on the other side. Going to Georgia.

That they started driving. 

Did I mention we were by this time up a bombing like a crazed bat outta hell down a mountain? How our driver was bent for no particular reason on passing each and every one against counter (truck) traffic in corkscrew bends on roads with no railings at speed in a minivan who knows how old the only certainty being it's never had its brakes checked — ever — stuffed to over-capacity with men with no seat sitting in the aisle and us stuffed in at the back between life-weathered Georgians taking desperate slugs of lukewarm beer with our eyes shut honest to god thinking we were gonna die and him checking, overtaking, swerving, speeding, braking, radio all the while blasting we're in heavennn.

And then the cows walked into the road.

A courtyard in Tblisi

Mother Georgia

Before the off-roading monks in robes bombed past in their 4x4

John dropped us off in Tblisi and we took a nap in the botanical garden. 
Then we took sulphur baths and went to a party

                                                   Like how they do in Amsterdam

Shepherds everywhere; houses, shade or water nowhere

David Gareja cave complex and monastery, 6th c. — still active 

A very soviet lunch. The woman apologised for the bread not being fresh though. The tub is full of monk honey

Almost Azerbaijan 

Chapel door, David Gareja monastery 

No ice cream but warm beer and ancient fish

Roads and salt flats

Inside Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Mtskheta, old Georgian capital

The most beautiful J-C

Mt. Kazbegi

The most surreal place I've been: Rooms Hotel, Kazbegi

The rest of Kazbegi looks like this:

She was pregnant. We called her Waffsko and fed her chips

Hiking with Waffsko

Gergeti Trinity Church, 12th c, 2170m. Complete with monk and gas stove

Dress code


Saints for sale

The locals

© ( :. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig