This is just my second advertorial in the Daily Sun and I'm still feeling out the ropes. I still don't even know if I'll get edited for saying "****" or "this wine smells like a horse's ass", so I've decided to focus on something I know really well, one of my favorite wines: Family Laurent St Pourcain.
The back story:
St Pourcain is an obscure wine region southwest of Beaujolais and Burgundy in central France. It's up in the low mountains where the Loire river has it's headwaters so the temperatures are a bit cooler and the soil is pretty rocky and full of granite. The Laurent's St Pourcain is one of my all time favorite wines because it hits both of the priorities I mentioned in the last column: it has a totally unique taste that's a product of the climate it comes from, and it's a good value (it's under $15). A lot of the wines that are available to us are made industrially in wineries that look more like oil refineries than our vision of Lucille Ball dancing in a wooden vat. The Laurent family may not be stomping on their grapes with their feet, but they do farm naturally, do the hard work of pruning themselves, and hand harvest all their grapes. The Laurent's even do the fermentation of the wine with the natural yeast that's on the grapes skins instead of using commercial yeast strains bought from a lab, as is common.
The drinking part:
The St Pourcain is a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay. True to the granite and limestone in the soil the wine has a minerally-stony taste on the mid-palate. Don't ask me to explain it, it's just a slightly acidic-dry taste that makes me think of rocks. There's plenty of fruit: all that ripe Pinot Noir and Gamay give it lots of juicy raspberry and cherry flavors, but there's also a darker quality to the taste that's just a bit gamey and spicy, and the aroma has a wood smoke quality to it. It's a wine that tastes interesting to me! By which I mean there're several different components that I taste, but all those flavors are working well together. It's a bright, fun, alive tasting wine.
Obviously working as a wine merchant I'm not saving the world, but getting to support unique hand made products like this that aren't that aren't that exclusive and hard to get makes me feel good at the end of the day. I hope you've enjoyed reading. Just remember that whatever you're drinking, no matter what I or anyone else thinks, the only opinion that really matters is yours.
Ned Swain is a professional advocate for excitement and fun of the vinous variety More info is available at devenishwines.com