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The ‘Queen of Vosne-Romanée’ and her talented husband from Chorey-les-Beaune formed a partnership that produces Burgundian soul with southern French spirit. Anne Gros and Jean-Paul Tollot have set new standards in the Minervois for both quality and character. Many eyebrows have risen in the region; sometimes with resentment, more often with admiration.
The hallmarks of their Minervois wines are finesse and precision; two characteristics more often used to describe Gros’ Burgundian crus rather than the concentrated, more earthy wines of the south.
The pair have been making wine in the south for twelve years now, in the high-altitude hills around Minervois. The region’s varied terroir, cooler heights (the same altitude as Vosne curiously enough) and very old vines, offered just the combination they wanted, for wines that speak of both the sun and location.
For some five years now Burgundy Direct Wines have offered the pairs first venture wine – Le 50 / 50 – a superb mix of Syrah, Grenache & Carignan.
Here are the details:
Le 50 / 50 AC 2018 @ €24.50 per bottle
BLEND: Majority Grenache; with Syrah and Carignan: A selection of fruit from a northfacing estate vineyard. Soils combine marl, limestone and sandstone. Grenache and Carignan vines are 30 to 40 years old; Syrah vines are 10+ years old.
AGE OF VINES: 10-40 years
WINEMAKING: Hand-harvested. Destemmed; fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Aged in tank.
TASTING IMPRESSIONS: Aromas of blackberries, crushed stones, wild garrigue. Medium-bodied, suave; flavours of black cherries and plums.
From beginning of May Burgundy Direct Wines are adding a second wine from the Gros-Tollot range. A much over-looked varietal that is becoming increasingly popular and one that Anne Gros says is a ‘personal favourite’ – Cinsault (pronounced Cinso). Pure Cinsault is one of the south’s signature grapes, yet one that is increasingly rare as growers tear out older vines in favour of “international” grape varieties. Gros begs to differ. BLEND: 100% Cinsault AGE OF VINES: 55-60 years WINEMAKING: Hand-harvested. Destemmed; fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Aged also in tank. TASTING IMPRESSIONS: Shines for its complexity and elegance and shows terrific Cinsault character. Medium-bodied, fresh and lively, with good acidity, it gives up lots of spice and peppery herbs intermixed with more dark fruits. Very pure, very refined (as Madame Gros says “mais oui - Cinsault est toujors raffiné. C’est dans son DNA”). Floral, elegant, understated, delicious.
And for the first time, in 2021, Anne & Paul have produced a truly delicious sweet wine from the region - St Jean de Minervois 'Frivole' 2019. Muscat de Saint-Jean-de-Minervois is an appellation for sweet, fortified vin doux naturel from the Languedoc wine region of southern France. The wines are based on the Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains grape variety. Minerve village, Languedoc-Roussillon. Muscat de Saint-Jean-de-Minervois wines are produced using a traditional sweet-wine-making process called mutage, adding alcohol to the grape must to bring a premature end to the yeasts and therefore the fermentation process.
Deep, effusive bouquet of apricot and honey, with a tinge of fresh green apples. Not one bit cloying; the sweetness is controlled, open, round and enticing, with nuances of lychee. Almost luscious but tapering to a gentle linear finish. Very versatile with food pairings and goes with sweet and sour Asian dishes, as well as ice-cream. Vegetarian. Vegan. Screwcap. ABV 15.5% St Jean de Minervois 'Frivole' 2019 @ €19.25 per bottle
And so to Burgundy and another 'first' is Anne's new sparkling venture - a wonderful Crémant de Bourgogne. Made from several parcels in the Cote de Nuits, using a blend of 50% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 10% Aligoté it creates a perfect balance of freshness (Aligoté influence), mellowness (Pinot influence) and creaminess (Chardonnay influence). Delightful citrus fruits (lemon and a hint of grapefruit) from the predominantly limestone soils, in which most of the parcels are planted, results in a strikingly mineral, delightfully bright and juicy sparkling wine with flavours of apricot, pastry, brioche and chalky nuances. Intensely fresh, yet very elegant too. This lovely ‘sparkler’ would challenge most house champagnes for quality. Domaine notes: - “Our Crémant Brut ‘La Fun en Bulles’ is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It is always a combination of finesse and length to accompany appetizers, especially the salty dishes.” . . . . .. . . . Anne Gros Crémant de Bourgogne @ €30.75 per bottle
|Wine Selection||Per Bottle||Per Case (6 Bottles)|
|le 50 / 50 AC 2018 (red)||€ 24.25||€ 145.50|
|le CinsO AC 2019 (red)||€ 22.50||€ 135.00|
|St Jean de Minervois 'Frivole' AC 2019||€ 19.25||€ 115.50|
|Wine Selection||Per Bottle||Per Case (6 Bottles)|
|Crémant de Bourgogne||€ 30.75||€ 184.50|