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February 2012

Seigneurs du Peyreviel Cotes du Millau 2008

Some of you may recognise this, as I've written about it in a past vintage, but it was a while ago, and as the current vintage is drinking so well I felt it was time to revisit it. I haven't re-read the original post, but maybe it will be a fun exercise to compare the 2006 to my current one.


This is a very authentic, traditional, French country table wine.  It's made by 11 farmers working together on 90 acres of land in the southwest of France, inland from the Minervois area.  Cotes du Millau is the appellation, but this coop group represents approximately 75% of the production due both to the small size of the region and also the unusually high quality of this group's wine making; farmers don't really have a reason to go it alone.  I like to think that this is how wine was made in the less famous wine regions a generation or two ago.  All the vineyard labor is done by hand due to the rough terrain and numerous streams that run through the vineyard.

Grapes: 50%Syrah, 30%Gamay, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Fer Servadou

Aroma: raspberry, a hint of old leather, cherry, cedar, and (I don't know how much this will resonate with you, but) animal fur.  In this case, by animal fur I mean farm animals, but clean well taken care of ones!  Like a nice friendly cow in her manger that nuzzles your hand.  Striking a chord?  No?  Oh well.  I was in a barn last week and still have the smells and associations in my head.

Palate: Bright and medium bodied, with nice smooth texture, this is great simple, satisfying wine.  No, it's not elegant or refined.  But neither was Johnny Cash and it worked just fine for him!  The texture here is smooth and it's easy to drink, but it has a rustic, brambley flavour behind the cherry and cranberry fruit.  The tannins are there, but not too intense; certainly in step with the rest of the wine. 

This is an undeniably honest wine that's hand made and is approximately $12 retail.  Something about all the flavors and smells of this wine is undeniably (for me) reminiscent of rural life, farms,... I'm going to just stop now.  This is great stew or roast chicken wine.  And you can get it at the Rosemonts, Freeport Cheese and Wine, Whole Foods, and the Oh No Cafe.


Domaine Boudau Clot del Pila 2010

2012-02-11 14.34.28

Though this isn't a new wine for me and Devenish (I've had it for over a year) it is a favorite and one of our best values.  More importantly I just got the new 2010 vintage in stock and it's even better than the 09 was, proving once again that you shouldn't trust vintage reports and make up your own mind! 

Clot del Pila is from the Roussillon just south of Corbieres in south west France.  This wine comes from a specific single vineyard (or clot as it's called here) farmed by the Boudau family.  You can read more about their history developing their vineyards here.  This particular vineyard overlooks the Mediterranean and is steep enough that all the work has to be done by hand.  It's pretty dry and rocky with a dry wind out of the NW.  It's not hard to get grapes ripe here and in the hot, much trumpeted 09 vintage I feel the wine was a bit over the top.  Thankfully the weather was more normal in 2010 and the wine is more balanced while still expressing the hot Mediterranean climate.  The dry, nearly roasted vineyard faces the sea and the grapes soak up intense Mediterranean sun.

Varietal: 35%Grenache, 35% Syrah, 30% Carignan

Aroma:  Vivid ripe cherry and black raspberry!  The aroma is fresh and fun, pretty intense, fruit forward, and has some hints of spice and dry sun baked soil.

Palate:  The palate follows up on what the aroma promises; lively ripe berry fruit but with underlying hints of dry dusty soil and the wild herbs rosemary and thyme that grow in the hills here.  The tannins are medium and verge on chewy, but not quite.  The finish is slightly gravely.  It's not super complex, but it's very authentic, well balanced, really satisfying, farmed sustainably and is ridiculously priced at about $12!

That's why this is one of my favorite wines; it brings terroir driven, characterful wine to a price people can afford daily with out stressing about.  It's available at all the Rosemonts, the Old Port Wine Merchant, Tess's Market, Blue Hill Wine Shop, Cheese Iron, Royal River Natural Foods, and Oak Hill Beverage.  Seriously, $12!

2012 National Pie Day an Insulin Shock Inducing Success!

This year's National Pie Day celebrations were an unprecedented success.  I hosted three pie and wine tastings, the Portland Pie Council raised $1215.50 for the Preble St Resource Center, we published a fantastic pie cook book, and held a Pie Gala that blew peoples minds.  As I promised when I was soliciting contributions, here are pictures of me in the pie suit from throughout the day that I wore it.


Here I am Thursday night preparing for the pie and wine tasting at Aurora Provisions.

Pie Contemplation

Sampling pie and contemplating it's perfection at Aurora Provisions.


Delivering wine to Whole Foods.

Ned and Dave at Whole Foods Pie Day

Dave Norman and myself at Whole Foods on Saturday the 21st to give away copies of the Pie Council Cook book with every blueberry pie sold.  Whole Foods gave $10 to Preble St for each Blueberry pie.


Pie Council members Dave Norman and Sara Donnelly put in some amazing work compiling and editing the submitted recipes as well as all the creative writing in the cook book.  The book includes 47 recipes for sweet pies, savory pies, and even crust! Then there are 12 pie-inspired poems, 4 interviews, 2 short stories, notes on the recipes from the bakers themselves, and's like a literary magazine with a sense of humor and a kitchen full of family recipes for America's favorite dessert!  Copies are still available for just $15 here.  Any profits we make from the book will go to Preble St!