The world’s biggest organic wine fair took place in Montpellier last week and I attended all three days of the main salon as well as a number of the offline events around the main event.
Last year I reported on the 2015 event in two posts about the salon and the offs and I shall do the same over the course of the next week. However, a brief introduction with an overview of thoughts and preferences.
1 salon attended
6 offline events attended
7 countries’ wines tasted
84 domaines’ wines tasted
373 wines tasted
Although my main interest is the wines of Languedoc – Roussillon I deliberately chose not to concentrate on them as I get to taste them throughout the year at other events. In addition I think I ought to taste wines from other regions and countries to broaden my experience and place the Languedoc – Roussillon in better context. That said I did taste some very good local wines at the offline events from the likes of Joe Jefferies, Mas Sibert, Escarpolette and Fontude.
However one country’s wines stood out, Austria. I tasted with a number of Austrian producers and they were consistently good, some outstanding, for example Sepp Muster, Ewald Tscheppe, Preisinger and Pittnauer above all. I have always enjoyed the white wines of Austria but the reds were a revelation, local grapes with character, distinction and drinkability.
The Rhone Valley was another source of top wines, so many elegant, fine wines such as those of Domaine des Aphillantes, Domaine du Coulet (Matthieu Barret) and Domaine Lombard in Brézème, an area I didn’t really know before. Interestingly Brise Cailloux from Barret was one of my choices of outstanding wines of 2015.
There were outstanding wines from Marc Kreydenweiss in the Rhone (as well as from his son in Alsace).
Just to the north of the Rhone I also enjoyed a number of Beaujolais wines (Lapierre, Séléné for example). The other outstanding wines were those of Aimé Stentz from Alsace, wines of great finesse, flavour and sheer drinkability.
There were many more interesting features and wines which I shall report on this week, the presence of an English vineyard certainly created a stir for example. Most surprising wine of the week was a delicious Viognier from Greece, Domaine Giannikos. I expected a flabby or blousy wine and instead the Neo∑ Anemo∑ was dry, clean, citrussy and truly elegant.
All in all it was a very good week.
January 30, 2016 at 4:35 pm
Alan, MB is one event I’d really love to get to.
I absolutely love Austrian wine. For lovers of bio and natural wines it is one of the most exciting places in Europe. As you say, some very pure flavours and exciting local grapes. I bought yet another Rotgipfler last weekend, very rare but it makes exciting wines.
I noticed the Brutal, which is the only one of his wines I know. It is often on sale in the bio-oriented shops around France. Would love to try more.
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January 30, 2016 at 5:02 pm
There are various versions of Brutal around David, this was from Joe Jefferies in Caux, there was a virtually identical label from L’Escarpolette for a cuvée of the same name.
It is a good event, lots of great wines. Perhaps too big with 900 producers in the main salon alone. And too many offs as well, there were at least 3 I didn’t attend. I could have gone up to the Loire today with Jeff for the various salons and offs but I am whacked after this week. Next year I may go there rather than MB.