Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Always Over Too Fast......

Every year I take a trip back in time to a world with no internet, television and radio. I surrender to the rhythm of waking before 7 am in the dark to the sound of bells and getting ready to work for 8 hours carrying grapes on my back. A few years ago we tried to calculate how many kilometers a porteur walked and how many tons of grapes we carried each day. Using a GPS watch, my buddy came up with 26 kilometers....I still can't think of the weight thing. I'm just happy that I can do it. 
And I'm happy because it is something I choose to do.
Microdot Throwin' Them Grapes!
 Frankly, after 2 weeks, the hardest part is to stop and re enter the modern world. Not that my world is so modern. I live in a rural tiny hamlet at the end of a little road surrounded by valleys and forests with about 6 neighbors. The only traffic is a farmer who comes down on his tractor a few times a week and the facteur in his yellow truck with the mail. Still, when I get back here after my time traveling, I am always over whelmed by what has happened while I was away. I'm totally connected to the rest of the world with the internet and media.
I have been back here for about 72 hours and am just beginning to get over the trauma of reality.
It was actually one of the best vendanges  for Chateau Vieux Chevrol that I have ever participated in. The last time I saw grapes like the ones we harvested was 2006. Everyone was happy especially after the last 2 years, 2012 and 2013. Last year was especially bad, but surprisingly, the 2013 young wine we had at the table was very promising. That says a lot for Jean-Pierre Champseix and his artistry. Earlier this year, Chateau Vieux Chevrol won the Silver Award at the prestigious Concours de Bordeaux Vins d'Aquitaine. It was an especially satisfying achievement as Vieux Chevrol is a totally independent, family owned traditional operation. Most of the cultivation and harvesting is done by hand and it is as close to being an organic wine as possible.
If you asked me to describe Chateau Vieux Chevrol Lalande de Pomerol, I would have to say that I considered a very serious wine. An intellectual wine. A complex wine that doesn't have to resort to cheap effects. Americans often think they have a sophisticated appreciation because they can taste the oak tannins in a Bordeaux wine. Because of the emphasis on that aspect, many of the wines that aim for the 20 dollar a bottle American market are often artificially infused with an oaky aroma that hits you over the head when you pour the wine into a glass. There are many artificial methods that are used to impart the sense of aroma and flavor to industrially produced wines. They are aged in stainless steel containers with oak chips and added industrial oak aroma. Vieux Chevrol spends a few months aging in real oak casks after the initial fermentation. That is how the oakiness is imparted to the wine and how the flavors develop and mature.It's there, but it never hit you over the head. What is more important with this wine is the after sensation of flavors. Cassis, frambois, caramelization, even the aroma of toast. The vineyards are located just across the valley from the world famous Petrus vineyards. Because of the nobility of the product and the tradition, I have been very proud to have been a part of the process for the last 12 years. I am going to write more about my experiences this year, because I am just beginning to get some pictures. We took a few little excursions. I stood on the ramparts of the Citadel de Brouage in Poitou-Charente where my ancestor Joseph-Osanny Nadeau left for Quebec in 1661. He was from that region. I ate the very best oysters I ever had in my life that day! Meanwhile, here's a picture of the entire group of workers taken on the very last day of 2 weeks of perfect weather. I never had to put on my boots once! a bientot!

1 comment:

Ol'Buzzard said...

it is fantastic to love your work and love who you are.
the Ol'Buzzard