Wine for Thought

Hi, I'm Veronique Raskin and I am the founder & CEO of The Organic Wine Company. My blog is mostly about organic wine & self-development, as well as anything else that interests and inspires me!

Snapshot from Bordeaux

–  by Sam Brown.

Holy cow, the hospitality in Bordeaux continues to blow me away….!! I will talk about the countryside at some point, which reminds me of the North Fork of Long Island, at least here in the Entre de Deux Mers…. but for now, allow me to record this amazing meal at the Maison de vignoble Patrick Boudon and his adorable wife Marise. They have prepared an authentic Bordelaise meal for us here at their home adjacent to the cellars. On arrival, Paul and I took a walk with Patrick in the vineyards accompanied by the haunting tunes and spooky calls of “les oiseaux”, raptors, night birds, owls and other native species, coming out to claim the night and hunt for prey in the vineyards… As the sky had the hood of night pulled down over it, the hoots and screams were  riveting, I wish I had the sound track, with the sliver of the waxing moon suspended behind the partly cloudy skies adjacent to the twinkling bright eye of one of our nearby planets, I suspect Venus or Jupiter. After an engaging tour of the winery followed by a host of white wine barrels samples, we came to Marise’s table for a truly satisfying meal. Let’s recount here:

Cremant de Bourdieu, the sparkling wine of the domaine, with simple salty table snacks of sunflower seeds in one small finger bowl and another with poppy sprinkled crackers, just enough to play the salty tension off the heightened crispness of the bubbly.

After this, we enjoyed 2009 Chateau Haute Mallet Entre Deux Mers, as well as the 2010, with a green salad of tender cabbage, scallions, and smoked salmon lightly dressed in a special, house blend. Crusty, sesame anointed bread for swabbing the deck…. The richness of the older vintage benefitted the wine and mouth experience, rounded, complete, harmonious. The fresher wine demonstrated perfectly a white wine whose best attributes are revealed with a little time in bottle….

Course, the Main, a confit of duck with a bright golden yellow purree of apples (as I thought, although Paul explains to me later that I misunderstood Marise, they were simply two types of potatoes) and potatoes on top baked in the oven for the selection of a 2003 Bordeaux, at it’s height, according to Patrick… What an honor! From the label of which I am not certain, as he decanted the wine. The label we represent is Domaine Saint Anne.

Marise served a nutty, digestion-supporting pair of cheeses for the 2005, Bordeaux Rouge of the Entre Deux Mers, another expressive offer from Patrick. He is wise, bright eyed, warm and enthusiastic with the solid constitution of a farmer. His appearance reminds me of my good friend Bill Casey.

After the cheese course, there was more to come, including a Gateau of fruits served with fresh cut apples, oranges, berries and pomegranate. Patrick disappeared to the cellar only to return with an elegant, lugubrious late harvest mourvedre blended with cab and merlot from the hand of his son who is toiling with a winery in the south of Spain. Named Le Cardinale, this rich selection was a perfect match for the fresh fruits.

Still not satisfied with the expansive offering of wine, Patrick sneaks away again to return with another vendanges tardives, thins one from the Boudon Domaine, a 1990 late harvest Sauvignon of a nutty golden brown color with honeyed caramelized fruit and lively acids to keep the freshness after all this time.

By this time, I have pulled out the I-pad, Francois Baron (have I mentioned him??) has departed and Paul retires as well. I am left at the table with Patrick and Marise for the final 45 minutes of my French tutelage. Patrick pulls a final liquid from his special horde, an organic congac from decades ago, I cannot recall the exact date. We sipped the pleasantly burning digestif and worked to communicate Patrick’s profound love for the creation of artisinal, nuanced wines.

I am headed to bed now, after an amazing French lesson with Marise and Patrick Boudon, here at the domaine de Vigneron Boudon, during which time, I was not only treated to the challenges of communicating exclusively in French for a fabulous multiple-course meal, but during that time, I was fully steeped in the philosophy of a passionate, principled grower of the wine. Patrick opened his heart with intensity as we discussed in French the notions of subtlety, nuance, and natural approaches in winemaking, with his clear conviction that no two vintages are the same, that the expression of the winemaker, the climate, the fruit itself demands the sensible, sympathetic hand of the vigneron to bring forth the most expressive wine possible from each vintage – a subject that by it’s very nature could support an all-night dialogue. Trying to have the discussion in broken French is a special challenge, but I really am so glad I have been able to come here with Paul to spend some time with these genuine farmers whose wines I have sold blindly for roughly a decade. We really have no true concept of the treasure we have in our book with these wines…..

by Sam Brown

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This entry was posted on October 24, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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