Schlagwort-Archive: Verdesse

2011 Verdesse – Domaine des Rutissons – Isère

If one divides France’s wines into the main wine growing regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Alsace, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Jura, Corse, Provence, Rhône, Savoy and Southwest there still remain some that don’t fit the description.

One of these are the wines of the Isère department. Southwest of the Savoy it borders the Rhône, the next wine region to the south would be the Provence. The landscape is similar to the Savoy but culinary it is doing its own stuff. No Tratiflets, raclette, fondue but raviols, small parcels filled with fresh cheese and parsley.

I did find out about this one september on the way back from the Côte d’Azur to Germany. The goal was to check out Mens, but nout because of the great views.

 

Landschaft um Mens

This tiny (1200 inhabitants) but eco-friendly town is host to a big eco-food fair in september, has its eco brewery, the weekly market has a high percentage of eco producers and there are a number of community vegetable gardens for every ones use. It is also home to a wine shop specialising on wines from the Alps. Right at the market place it was easy to find but unfortunately closed because of prep work for the coming eco fair. Luckily a guy could be seen through the cellar windows ranging wine boxes. After explainng that I had come all the way from Germany to buy some of his merchandise he agreed to let me buy some.

One of the bottles I bought is the 2011 Verdesse from Domaine des Rutissons in St Vincent de Mercuze. Apart from grapes grown in neighbouring wine regions (Jacquère from Savoy and Viognier from Rhône) the y grow autochtonuos grape varieties as well, Etraire de la Dhuy and Verdesse. The Verdesse is only grown on 2ha in France (2008). The name relates to its dark green leaves. The wines are supposed to be aromatic which gave the vine the synonym of Verdesse Musquée.

Straight from the fridge I’m surprised by choucroute with apples, onions and bacon. On the palate a cristal clear mineral acidity with raspberry soda candy. Dried fruit and canned mushrooms aftertaste. The choucroute dissipates quickly leaving raspberry soda, cooked apple, smoked bacon with honey and light chalk.

A real find, just hoping it can survive commercially against the likes of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

The raviols we had later in the Café des Arts. The night we spent freezing in the tent.

Verdesse, Persan, Étraire de la Dhuy – Cave de Bernin – Côteaux du Grésivaudan

Looking for unknown grape varieties one often has to look to unknown wine growing regions. One of those is set in France between Grenoble and often overlooked Vin de Savioe AOC region. Overlooked at least in Germany. The Côteaux du Grésivaudan is part of IGP Isère (together with the equally unknown Balmes Dauphinoises) and have to battle with low prices for their wines, high labour cost, also due to difficult mechanization and high realty prices.

Only through passion and the wish to preserve its culture by some winemakers some wines still find their way to the world of wine. Especially through the use of autochtonuos grape varieties.

Among those are the white Verdesse and the dark Persan and Étraire de la Dhuy grape varieties. The Verdesse I have tried the one from Domaine des Rutissons before and found it to be quite interesting. With only 2ha grown in 2008 a real rarity. Persan and Etraire were still unknown to me. According to  Wine Grapes Etraire is a natural seedling of Persan. 2008 only 6ha were planted. Slightly more grown is the Persan,  9ha in France and some winemakers in the Piedmont where it is called Becuet. All three grape varieties are grown by the  Wine Cooperative in Bernin , vinified and bottled. This makes them to my knowledge the only winemakers that offer all three grapes as mono varietals. One reason to have a look around!

 

Cave de Bernin

The cooperative was easy to find using the navigation sytem and also easy to reach with our camper van, something that is not a given in the little mountain villages with their steep and narrow roads. A big parking space, a small shop with their wines and local specialities like walnuts and fruit jams and a free, fabulous view. What more can one ask for? And all very reasonably priced. Bottles range from 2.90€ to 5€. Bag in Boxes are even cheaper. All wines are made without vintage. Unfortunately I did not have time to do some tastings at the cooperative because we were pressed to reach our next destination, the Domaine de Méjane with its camper van space.

Verdesse Cave de Bernin

The first wine, Verdesse was light in colour. Granny Smith, lemon and lemonade, light soap followed by cooked apple with lavender honey and overripe pineapple but also unfortunately a touch of volatile acidity. Light on the palate as well with a long mineral finish and dried apple peel aftertaste. Slightly watery, lacking concentration.

The second day the volatile acidity has dispersed, Granny-Smith, iced pineapple, banana chewing gum, lavender honey, raspberry soda and chalk. Overripe pineapple and oyster mushroom aftertaste.

Etraire de la Dhuy Cave de Bernin

The second wine, the Etraire de la Dhuy, was lightly coloured as well. On the nose cloves, vanilla, cherries (combination of cherry jam and ripe, juicy fruit). On the palate light as well, light tannins and refreshing acidity. This wine too makes me wonder what could be made from these grapes if the yield was kept low.

The second day the wine changed only slightly: Cassis, cherry, lightly smoked ham mit cloves. Cherry and cloves aftertaste with light bitter note.

Persan Cave de Bernin

The third and with 5€ the most expensive of the cooperative is the Persan.

The colour shows more intensity than the Etraire, which is no big feat.

The nose is attacked my a blast of Brett (Brettanomyces) which reminded me of cow manure. Luckily the stink is quickly gone only to be replaced by raspberry jam, hibiscus flowers and orange marmalede with saffron. Fuller than the Etraire with a balanced Acidity and plum finish.

The second day the Brett influence has diminished. Now it gives the wine a foxy note, reminding me of concorde jam. On the palate I head the impression of a nice country bread spread with concorde jam without the sweetness, obviously. Acidity seems to have gained in strength. Despite all, this is one is my favourite of the three.

All in all a couple of interesting wines. Complex aromas, unfortunately lacking concentration. So there is still some space to improve. And dirt cheap.