Energy in the wines at the Return to Terroir

Nicolas Joly’s talk wasn’t the only thing packed on Monday; the tasting itself at Return to Terroir, NYC edition, was really crowded in the latter half.

I didn’t get a chance to taste all the wines (I hear I really missed out by not hitting the German area), but I did taste some really good ones. Biodynamics comes in for some flack, perhaps rightfully as some of the statements are unfalsifiable, but two things are hard to dispute: the growers are very attentive to their vineyards and it’s often hard to argue with is the quality of many of the wines in the glass.

Since walk-around tastings offer only glimpses of a wine, not the progression over an evening, I offer you some literal snapshots here.

Nikolaihof: Terrific energy and acidity in these Gruners–even the 2010 Hefeabzug, which was from a more challenging vintage, has great snap.

Comte Abbatucci: My new favorite wines from Corsica! The producer has 18 ha (45 acres) with many indigenous varieties, including Vermentino, Nielluccio, Sciaccarello and Barbossa. Interestingly, labeled as “vin de France”–will have to explore these more, but, sadly, the NY importer is out of stock of all but the rosé…

The 2009s from Pierre & Catherine Breton were pretty serious and the 2010s showed well, if tight. Can’t wait to track some of these down.

My first chance to try the unsulfured Champagnes from David Leclapart’s 3 hectares f vines planted to 90% chardonnay. The “amateur” had an oxidized finish but the “L’Artiste” and the “L’Apotre.” Good stuff, if hard to find!

Also, unphotographed, the Francois Bedel Champagnes were also notable. Michel Lafarge Bourgogne Passetoutgrain 2009 was the best I’ve had of that wine in a few vintages. And his Volnay Vendanges Selectionnees 2009 showed really well. And the Coulée de Serrant 2009 was the best I’d tasted from the estate in several vintages as well.

I posted these photos to Instagram–if you’re using the app, see more @drvino. I will try to take pictures of people next time, not just bottles!

If you attended the tasting, what were some standouts for you?

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4 Responses to “Energy in the wines at the Return to Terroir”

  1. The Coulée de Serrant wines were standouts, but I was also glad to hit up the Alsatian section. The Josmeyer, Deiss, Zind Humbrecht, and Ostertag wines were fantastic!

  2. Doc,
    Totally with you when it comes to Corsica…across the board favorite for me and the folks I was tasting with. Mr. Abattucci’s wines were very exciting, and we pleaded with him to visit VT. At Casa De Mouraz, the sole Portuguese representative, I had my concept of Vinho Verde completely blown out of the water. Already fan of the Meinklang wines as we get them here, great to finally meet Werner Michlits. Joseph Landron’s Loire Muscadet were serious QPR.

    Don’t have my notes here at work, but did you by any chance try the first wine from Our Wine, LLC, the Georgian producer, the one that macerated skin, seed, and stems for six months in buried clay vessels? Holy White Tannins!

  3. Personally, I enjoyed the classics of Nicolas Joly, Marcel Deiss, Olivier Cousin, and Domaine de la Pinte.

    My new discoveries:
    Borc Dodon (Uis Blancis, Uis Neris – natural fruit)
    Vignoble Réveille (Pot Rouge, Climas, Diable – balanced fruit/freshness)
    Domaine Viret (Renaissance, Dolia – superb super natural wines)
    Champagne David Léclapart (L’Amateur, L’Artiste – like you, I enjoyed it’s complexity and finish)

  4. Also found the Georgian wines interesting, though not exactly vins de soif. I loved the Cotar wines from Slovenia. Also dug Landron, Zusslin, and Ulivi, among others.


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