Thursday, September 11, 2008

Maury : the paradise

Cèpes (the French fungi porcinis), sweet grapes, almonds, figs, honey from the garrigue… This is heaven.
We spent 3 days in Maury to check-out the new vinification and aging cellar. It is ready to receive today its first harvest (of whites for the store).
So much has happened since I bought my first parcel in 2000!
So much has changed in Maury, the valley and surroundings in this beautiful region of Roussillon.

The village of Maury is becoming more and more lively: private wineries, the Maison du Terroir and its excellent restaurant with its Michelin star and nice fixed menu for 25 Euros during the week.

Our apartments will be ready in 2 to 3 months. We will then organize a party and invite everyone who helped us: banks, craftsmen, journalists, neighbors, administration, architects, etc… (and gardeners?)
I had a very busy weekend. I sensed that my friends in Maury didn’t want me to amble around…

Our US importer and his team seemed to enjoy our wines and the new cellar.
Most wine produced here are mostly organic, thanks to the wind, the sun and the rocky soil. A dream region, although the draught is starting to hurt here. Too much water in Bordeaux, too much sun in the Roussillon. This is the way I like life, the glass always half full instead of the glass half empty.

Well, a great article written by Michel Bettane on Maury appeared in Le Monde (he initiated the buzz and is its godfather) and the nice note in the Wine Advocate. I watched a nice piece in “Terre du Sud” shot in Cap Béar. I hope they will take this opportunity to taste Jacques and Christine Montagné’s wines: Clos del Rey, Mas del Rey and Baby del Rey.
During our stay, a large blind tasting event of wines featured in recent guides took place. I am not being fallacious when I say that some tasters should also be rated (and treated). Thin, vegetal and dirty wine will never make good and pleasurable ones and a lower level of alcohol doesn’t mean that one cannot make, at least, a technically clean wine.

I still greatly regret that the Roussillon is still considered a second class region. I would love so much if a media savvy person would fall in love with this region… It is still not too late.
In the meantime, many investors are moving here. Business is, in this particular case, ahead of notoriety: British, Americans, Burgundian and people from Bordeaux are investing in Maury.

I would like to thank : our oenologist Claude Gros who did a big and great job with Marie and Jean-Roger Calvet. Each new vintage gets better than the previous one (the Maury, Syrah on granite). The Parker notes show that we are in the right track. After Jancis Robinson, we now have 2 supporters with no hang-ups. This proves that you can please 2 great professionals supposed to have different tastes…

I don’t forget that I was raised in a good catholic schools, but this weekend we could have been given the Nobel price of the greatest Jesuit in the wine world’s microcosm. The talent for the best balancing act is not given to every one. It should not be to difficult to find here, between the wines of Hervé Bizeul, ours and those of the ecological freshness.

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