Thursday, October 11, 2007

Les 3 Marie

La Passion du Vin selected Les 3 Marie from Domaine Calvet Thunevin as “bottle of the week”.
This is what Jérôme Pérez wrote :

« Up to now, how many wines have affected me in a way that I will remember them for a long time, keep the souvenir if not precise, at least faithful of having greater pleasure than usual? Which wine I’ve tasted have seduced me to the point of wanting to taste them again or introduce them to others? How many have enough depth, personality, beyond their obvious quality to mark me with their imprint?
In the end, wines are like people. I am mostly interested, by far, by the ones generating controversy than popular ones, which have nothing to say.

And if the quality of this wine doesn’t generate controversy, his price will certainly do.

How much should a wine cost? What is the price of happiness? Is there a price for happiness? Is it reserved for just a few? How many of us who will buy this wine will be able to appreciate it at its right value (we’ll come back to the right value!)? How many wine lovers will appreciate it as it should and will never taste it because they cannot afford it or even not wanting to spend this kind of money for a bottle of wine?

I asked myself other questions: I met Jean-Luc Thunevin, I was seduced by the man, attracted by his acute view about everything, his vivacity, his way to destabilize you, wanting to know who he is dealing with (does business with). I was totally impressed by his knowledge of the business and his capacity to evaluate a wine, including its price. I brought a few bottles: Limbardié tradition 2001 and Lo Vielh 2000. The rascal, even if he liked them, he guessed almost exactly the price! (he only made a mistake on Rotier 2002, but who else wouldn’t?)

So, if this wine has been released into the marketplace for over one hundred Euros, it is for a reason.

But still…

2500 bottles of Grenache Noir made from 80 to 100 years old vines on a 2 hectare plot of schist and limestone, with ridiculously low yields, and aged for 18 months in new barrels of 300 and 600 liters. Is that a recipe for success? Is this wine beautiful because it was made with a specific process? Was it designed before even being produced in order to enter in this “niche” category from its first vintage (this one)? I dare not believe it and still: I bow like I bowed in front of the cuvée Charles Dupuy from Mas Amiel or the cuvée Jean Sirven from Domaine Bertrand Bergé. Few wines left this feeling of fullness, few wines have given me this delicate taste of ecstasy. Me, who likes wines from the South, I got my answer…. And if my reservations about this wine is bit stupid, my initial reservation still stands… But I loved it fully, totally, so I let go, I let my guards down for a moment and talk about my paradox.
I just wanted to comment it but instead it brought many questions up, which describe well the debates found on the forum of “La Passion du Vin”; a recurring discussion which seems to linger with no end in site.

Tasting notes :

Very dark robe, violet, very dense.

Grenache nose which reminds a vintage Maury: Raspberry, blackberry, cacao and pepper. Nice olfactory harmony. A thick and profound nose.

The mouth has great volume, roundness with enormous fruit set on a tight texture. The middle palate explodes with smoothness, filled with exact fruit, mixed with spices (especially pepper).
The finish lingers on notes of cacao and fruit where a touch of noticeable heat doesn’t spoil this unique flavor. Soft tannins lift this sublime and baroque ensemble.

In the end, this is a wine out of the ordinary recalling a vintage neither a fortified wine nor containing residual sugar, still with a quintessence of Grenache. Out of the norm, big, but not too-much. This is where the tour-de-force resides. Sensation of strength or strong sensations, however you see it ! »

Jérome Perez

And what can I ad to Marie Calvet’s response?

« Monsieur Perez,
This is the first time I participate to this forum, because I am touched by your comments on Les Trois Marie (you might guess that I am one of them…). I regularly visit the site and my husband and I are very attentive to the critics and opinion from the contributors on the forum (we noted the comments on Constance 2005;-))

In all modesty and from the depth of our Roussillon, we try hard to express the best qualities our terroir can offer. Your interest and comments are great encouragements for us to carry on.

I have a special spot for Les Trois Marie because it gives me emotions. I can recall every step which brought this wine to life. Sharing these emotions with you gives me great pride.

Therefore, I would like to thank you and reaffirm that your recognition and the one from other passionate or enthusiast are an essential drive for us to always do better. I would also like to welcome you in Maury and if by any chance you visit us, we will welcome you with great pleasure. (and maybe taste the 2007, very promising).
Best regards,

Marie Calvet
Domaine Calvet-Thunevin

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