Paroles de vignerons - Vinparleur - Winzer talk

Black pudding, Gigondas and the gateway to paradise - Santa Roc from Yves Gras and Rémy Pedreno

30 January 2012, by Sebastian Nickel

In France we sometimes speak of a day “with” or a day “without” depending on whether it has gone well or rather badly ...
On my way back home after a busy week full of work, I stop by my favourite multinational butcher, with quite a precise taste on mind. It only takes a couple of minutes to get what I want. A neat piece of black pudding, a couple of apples, a kilo of rice from the Camargue and sweet onions from the Cevennes under my arm, I get back on my bike – oh sorry, that picture sounds too perfect – so honestly, I get back into my car and drive on.

At home, all my victuals are peeled and cut into separate pots and pans and on the stove soon - the onions seasoned with a little curry - where they roast slowly ahead, bake and melt. I descend into my wine cellar, which actually is just a garage with no cars ...

I am looking for a bottle from 2009, more precisely, a Gigondas, of Yves Gras. Bottled some five months ago, I have not had time to taste the wine since it has left its vat. After several minutes of searching in different boxes and cases, I finally find what I am looking for: Santa Roc 2009 – a great vintage in southern France – a wine that results from the collaboration between Yves Gras of Santa Duc and Rémy Pedreno of Roc d’Anglade.

As soon as the cork is out, a quick sip seems unavoidable in order to get a first impression: It certainly required four winemakers hands to get so much of crispy acidity in a Grenache-dominated, full-bodied Rhone wine in 2009 ! The first aromas look rather fruity and sweet - cherry, red currants - but spices are not far away and fully express in the mouth. Supported by crunchy tannins, they fill the palate in a pleasant way with pepper, cacao and cinnamon, or even with a touch of fennel and some grounded coriander seeds ... Young and jaunty, this wine tolerates to be decanted, without really needing it.

And when a short time later the mellowness of the fried black pudding joins in, as well as the crunchiness of the rice, the fruitiness of the apples and sweet spiciness of the curry-onions, my stomach and my taste buds feel pretty sure about the fact that today rather is a day “with” than “without”...



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