11 June, 2021
Before I left for France I had sent six bottles of German and Austrian wines which I had bought from Drunk by Nature to Thomas. Yesterday, we agreed on tasting them today with a few winemaker-friends of Thomas’s: Lisanne van Son and her partner Edouard Gouyette, Michel Autran and Clement Deuve (who doesn’t make wine yet but is learning to – also he designed the etiquettes for two of three cuvées of Thomas’s). The wines are, to be tasted in the order I chose in advance:
1. Claus Preisinger »Kalkundkiesel (weiß)«, 2020 – an assemblage of Pinot Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Muscat and Welschriesling from the Austrian region of Burgenland
2. Rita and Rudolf Trossen »Lay Purus«, 2019 – a German Riesling from the Mosel
3. Maria and Sepp Muster »Graf Morillon«, 2018 – an Austrian Chardonnay from the Steiermark
4. Schönberger »Auf der Maische«, 2016 (or 17) – an Austrian Neuburger, an autochthonous grape variety from the Burgenland
5. Strohmeier »Rosé«, no vintage – a sparkling Austrian Blauer Wildbacher, another autochthonous grape variety, from the western Steiermark
6. Enderle & Moll »Liaison«, 2016 – a German Pinot Noir from Baden-Würtemberg
Lisanne brought her own wines, too. She buys the grapes, so she’s a négociante. The wines we taste are:
7. Lisanne van Son »Hasta La Vizsla«, 2020 – a sparkling assemblage of Riesling, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc
8. Lisanne van Son »Blanksia«, ???? – a Chardonnay
9. Lisanne van Son »Petal«, ???? – an assemblage of Grolleau and Muscat Rouge
Thomas leaves for his cave to return with an experiment he made in 2018 whilst attending wine school – »officially unreleased«.
10. Thomas Puéchavy, (no name), 2017 and 2018 – an assemblage of Gamay and Cabernet Franc
What I learn and realize, as this is my first time tasting wine like this, with winemakers: You take your time. You don’t pour a lot, you don’t necessarily swallow the wine – a lot of it is spit into Thomas’s garden. You smell, you move your glass, you smell again. Sometimes a wine is ›closed‹, reserved, so you give it a bit of time for it to open up. Yes, you do mention certain specific tastes and make comparisons to e.g. fruit (»Pampelmuse!«) but there are other aspects which the winemakers seem to find even more interesting. And they are: if you can tell where the wine is from and how it was made. Whether the grapes were picked at the right moment. Whether the balance is right, whether e.g. the acidy has been integrated well. Whether you can smell reduction (»Cabbage!«) (and how to get rid of it by shaking the glass madly). And with what kind of food you could combine it with (»Let’s try cheese with the Strohmeier!«). And whether the technique of maceration makes sense when dealing with white grapes (Michel and Edouard think it’s pointless).