I know the picture at left leaves a little to be desired.
Traveling to sell your product can be a tricky scenario; tiring quests for sales matched up with the hurdles of language barriers and cultural differences can make life a bit harried. But, sometimes you just find a simpatico with someone regardless of those hurdles.
This was the case yesterday with a very genuine winemaker named Thierry Michon from Domaine St Nicolas. Thierry walked into 5&10 and was instantly buoyed with familiarity when I greeted him in French. I grew up speaking a lot of French though a wonderfully Canadian tradition of bilingual elementary schools in Ottawa and, though rusty, I can still get my point across, albeit with a strong Quebecois accent, humoring all from France.
Thierry just felt immediately at home. We chatted about his vineyard, how hard winemaking has been in the last four years (good vintages but very small yields, down as much as 2/3 from what he used to yield), about his wondrous soil, about fellow Loire producers, and cheery comfortable banter about life on the road. Really great guy. He talked about how he has made a a big decision in trying to move into the American market even though he sells out just about every wine he has in France... a common malaise among French winemakers who have decided to take that route. They are increasing their playing field for larger future production but then they get saddened when their wines get lost in the shuffle of non-varietally labelled wines in the USA.
In France Thierry has sold out of all of the 04, 05 and most of the 06 of his higher-end pinot noir called "Cuvee Jacques". The wine is 100% pinot and a rarity because it is grown on the very sought-after schist soil.
- A medium to coarse grained metamorphic rock with well developed bedding planes derived from the foliated recrystrallization of platy like minerals like mica."
The kicker is this wine is a 2004 which is just magical now and for a number of years to come. It's all biodynamic and worth every penny. And it doesn't cost many pennies.
$22.99 for a wine that I think is worth double that, from the hands and vines of a guy who travelled here from is home to sell something that should sell itself.
DO NOT LET THIS WINE GET AWAY. I have three cases coming in Wednesday March 4th and that's pretty much all there is.
A la prochaine Thierry!