Besides the chef’s cooking presentations, the Omnivore food festival is also a showcase for high quality produce such as meats, cheeses and of course wine.
A good dozen of mostly French vignerons were presenting their so-called “Vins Naturels”, a non-certified or -controlled ideology of winemaking which basically reduces the process to a minimum of interference (pumping, filtration) or additons (non-indigenous yeasts, sulfites). While I’ve had a few disappointments especially with reds, often appearing a bit too oxydized and banal, this time, all present winemakers poured delicious specimens. It seems that it isn’t so easy to master the art of natural winemaking without dropping into oxydative bluntness. These winemakers all succeeded.
The Chenins Blancs of Jean Pierre Robinot and his Domaine L’Ange Vin were all full of freshness and fruit. Maybe a hint oxydated here and there, but not bothering really, actually it even brings more caractère to the wines. Monsieur Robinot is a really joyful man, as are his wine labels. Check a thorough albeit a bit ancient report on Wine Terroirs.
The Chenins of Lise et Bertrand Jousset were equally interesting, if not even more for my palate. Their sparkling wine Bubulle is an explosion of freshness and pears. Maybe some residual sugar, but still appearing incredibly fresh.
I grew a big fan of the wines of Marcel Lapierre. Especially the 2009 ones were a blast. This estate shows how red Vins Naturels are supposed to be made. Meticulous controls during vinification (they have their own laboratory) ensure that no oxydation finds it way into the musts and wines.
Even the most basic cuvée of Marcel Lapierre ensures thirst-quenching drinking pleasure. My Secret tipps though would be the Cuvée Vieilles Vignes of 2009 or the simple Beaujolais 2010. These wines caress the palate.
Château Meylet of Saint-Émilion is rather unknown in Germany. It shouldn’t be. Michel Favard is the pioneer of biodynamic winemaking in the Gironde as he started in 1987 already. Unusual for Bordeaux, his wine are only commercialized after 6-7 years of ageing in the chais (2 years in Barriques). I especially liked his 2000 which is at the same time firm but with the charming fruit of Merlot. Great drinkability!
This one is a 100% Macabeu (white) from Domaine Jolly Ferriol of the Côtes du Roussillon area which is close to the Spanish border. It unifies freshness and personality. Another wine that’ not available in Germany it seems. Too bad.
Also from this part of France: Domaine la Marche. This estate is the endeavour of 2 young siblings Béatrice and Jean-Noel Pilliez who took over the vines of their ancestors and bottled their first cuvée in 2005. La Vigne Haute is a cuvée of mainly Grenache Gris and Blanc plus a little Macabeu, expressive and refreshing at the same time.
Also, I very much enjoyed the Champagnes of Domaine Vouette et Sorbée. Fresh, Mineral and with the right acidity. Again: not available in Germany – what a loss!