Posts tagged #France

Nicolas Carmarans "Maximus" Aveyron Fer Servadou

maximus portrait.jpg

Nicolas Carmarans "Maximus" Aveyron Fer Servadou
Varietal: Fer Servadou
Region: Midi, France
Year: 2015
Price: $28
Retailer: Lou Wine Shop
Importer: Fifi's Import

There's a Seinfeld reference for everything. But over the years, there has been one particular Seinfeld reference people associate with me over all other Seinfeld references. It is episode one, season six. "The Chaperone." This is the episode in which Elaine is told you either have grace or you don't. I am not known for being graceful. I'm brazen & boyish, high strung & kind of aggressive, very polite but equally inappropriate. And you can't acquire grace, you can't just pick it up, not even at the Silverlake farmer's market. And it's fine because I don't have grace, I don't want grace, and I definitely do not say fucking grace. But Nicolas Carmarans' "Maximus" makes me think that maybe I could have grace. 

The title boasts machismo and excessiveness, and you almost expect to be hit over the head with the bottle after pouring. Instead you are met with an inextricable mix of soft and bold. It's driven by its acidity and carbonic quality, and that is the electric spine the wine is build upon. After the initial hit of acid, you are met with a smooth femininity of floral and red fruit that gives way to a sinewy, dark berry quality; the strength, the muscle of the thing. It has bite with astringent tannins and some brett, and carries a little bit of weight with touches of oak. But it all comes together harmoniously, making a wine that is both light and charming while warm and interesting. It's fucking graceful. 

Because having high energy or bite or even slight flaws doesn't mean something can't also be graceful. Grace isn't just a singular quality of pristine elegance, grace is also fluidity, cohesiveness, the sum of its parts. And perhaps we're all a little more graceful than we give ourselves credit for. 

Tasting Notes: Smells like cranberries & cherries tossed with gravel and roses, dusted with warm black pepper and zested with lime. Tastes like unadulterated cranberry juice, bright pomegranate, and roses & peonies, with hints of peppered ripe cherries tucked into a cigar box with some brett. Light, dry, with astringent tannins but oh so drinkable. This is my third bottle this week so. Proof is in the purchases. 

Ross Test: Gets super herbal, but still quite quaffable! 

Château Flotis "Si Noire"

chateau flotis si noire

Château Flotis "Si Noire"
Varietal: Negrette
Region: Fronton, France
Year: 2010
Price: $18
Retailer: Lou Wine Shop

2016 has been wild so far. Between starting at Bon Appétit, going to Spain twice, hosting a two day wine pool party and turning 30, I haven't had much time to review much wine despite drinking enough of it to nearly kill me. 

Having a moment to sit here with the Château Flotis right now feels like a gift. The goal has always been to get off the internet, but the truth is there is a comfort in this medium that cannot be found in emails from my editors or scribbling shorthand into Moleskins in a vineyard six thousand miles away. I've dreamed of those things, and am so grateful to see it come to fruition, but still. This corner of my couch, listening to "Starman" on repeat without headphones on, without anyone to please but myself and no fucks given, is a pleasure. I can't say I didn't appreciate it before, because I have always truly treasured these moments, but it is that much sweeter now.

I probably should have chosen a white wine to review since I haven't since September, but I've had this French red that has just been sitting on the shelf waiting for me to love and I couldn't resist. I have very little self-control, especially when it comes to funky French reds.

Château Flotis is made by winemaker Katia Garrouste. The back of the bottle makes a point to say that her wines "reflect her unique perspective" but "aren't 'feminine' per se", which annoys me. I can't tell if they wanted to point people in that direction, towards the wine's subtle femininity or if they're trying to assure people that just because it is made by a woman, not to worry! You're still masculine if you drink it! Maybe I am jaded and tired and got a super lame email from a dude comparing photos I post of me in a bikini on my own accord to being exploited for my body, but at any rate, it annoys me. Katia is a badass winemaker with tons of potential, and it's great to highlight women making wine, but I don't see the benefit of saying the wine isn't "'feminine' per se". 

My heightened and perhaps displaced sense of sexism aside, I really love this wine.

It's so soft and light on the front, like a favorite, worn thin, vintage jersey t-shirt moving across collar bones. But the back is substantial, tannic and fiesty. It goes from fruity and flirty to savory and sexy so quickly. And the whole time, it is so well-balanced. There isn't a note out of place. It's like an Olympic gymnast doing a whole floor routine to a Shakira song on a balance beam. There are so many flavors that dance upon your palate, and it is incredible how linear they are while still showcasing so much finesse. 

Although this is has been a great wine to just hang out with on my couch, I would recommend eating with it. It's a bit acidic and gripping for drinking alone, and I wouldn't mind biting into a big juicy cheeseburger right now. Or cassoulet as the label recommends as the traditional pairing, but also cheeseburgers.

Alright, I have to go get ready for my life but know I love this wine and I love you. 

Tasting Notes: Christmas cranberry mom-pedicure color. Smells like peppered, strawberry fruit leathers. Tastes like the best god damn dinner wine I've yet to actually eat dinner with. Ah! It's so light while still delivering acidic and tannic depth. Make sure to let this breathe for at least thirty minutes, otherwise it is too tannic and acidic and not nearly as enjoyable. 

Ross Test: Wow, I am genuinely surprised at how well it went! Usually tannic and acidic wines aren't always smooth going down, but that vintage jersey t-shirt soft I spoke about at the front of this wine actually carries it down the hatch quite nicely!