Jean-Louis Denois, die zichzelf ambachtelijk wijnmaker noemt in Limoux, Languedoc, heeft twee ‘sulfaatvrije’ wijnen in de markt gezet, zoals dat op dit moment in zwang is onder bio-apostelen. Waarom hij dat doet legt hij graag uit. Wat drinken we over tien jaar? Is wijn dan nog wel een drank die in tel is? En hoe moet die wijn dan zonder kunstgrepen en chemie smaken om de jongere generaties ‘aan de fles’ te houden? Jean-Louis heeft er een eigen visie op, die hij in het Engels heeft laten verspreiden. Here we go:
“Organic, biodynamic, "natural" and sulphur-free wines are today a real deep trend, a groundswell among young consumers who are interested and serious about wine, or pouring it in restaurants, that we cannot ignore. They will make the sales of tomorrow.
The world of wine moves fast, it grows both globally and in Europe because it has become a real alternative to beer. But we don’t drink like yesterday.
Who guessed in 1995 that rich and woody wines would become unfashionable 15 years later and prices of 80% of Bordeaux wines would just collapse so quickly?
These young people who drink wine are educated and informed, mostly urban, they travel, compare, what do they want ?
More natural, authenticity, simple pleasure, rare wines, confidence in the origin and they are tired of getting "horse in their beef."
The old and exhausted AOC system, big brands are symbols of the past and will soon not interest much people and might even be rejected, this is a possibility !
Most wine producers and writers are asking questions like : “what will be the next hot variety or style in fashion”, isn’t the question rather :”who will drink wine in 10 years? “
Of course we need to prepare the near future now, but you know all that better than me !
Passionate winemaker, native from Champagne and innovator –discoverer of new quality sites in Languedoc and elsewhere since 25 years, I was pioneer of Pinot noir and great Chardonnays in Limoux (I created Domaine de l’Aigle and you probably recall my fights with French authorities about experimenting Riesling in Roquetaillade) I am often against the current fashions of the time, but I do not hesitate to say that we have to re delight our consumers with new kinds of wines.
This is why I bet to vinify all my 2012 crop without any sulfite.
Let me please introduce to you my 2 sulfite free new wines from my small Vignoble des Fenouillèdes, at the top of Val d’Agly, in high Roussillon, a fabulous new Eldorado in real “France’s new world”.
I have bought there in 2006 no less than 10 very small and unique vineyard blocks in the coolest sites made of “argiles grises” soils around the village of Caudiés and near Saint Paul de Fenouillet.
Since then I have been studying the best conditions to develop my own system and a unique concept in winemaking consisting in a real “Grand cru protocol” at all steps which is a combination of advanced organic principles and a traditional vision of respect for the vine inherited from 6 generations of dedication to quality grapes.
- Short pruning and no fertilizersto keep the production low and concentrated
- Organic farming with priority given to rigorous canopy management, the vines are carefully trained on trellises to better resist to almost permanent strong winds in the valley and expose the grapes to the sun for objective of : “0 botrytis”.
- First manual pre harvest in August to select the grapes: the good ones are left hanging with leafs also pulled out.
- Hand picking of perfect grapes only in small cases of 15 kgs, destemmed for reds but not crushed for a whole berry fermentation and limited tannin extraction.
- Gravity loading, entire berries pressing for whites and selection of the first running juices only (press wines with high pH are rejected, too dangerous for sulfite free wines).
- Wines are aged in tanks on fine lees, protected from air all the time and bottled early with little intervention and just a light paper filtration to avoid any bacterial deviation.
- No sulfite added at any time.
- Wines show an intense purple colour and a real purity that anyone really notice as well as a clean, fresh fruit, very fruity like a new wine after fermentation, in amore refined style however after winter cold settling.
Like the best sulfite free, these two wines are extremely silky and velvety.
Will they keep well, everybody asks ? I think so, of course they are not wines to mature as they have no excess or need to refine with time and they show their best now, but I have been amazed to taste an almost empty bottle 5 days after with very little difference. I am quite confident and give them a good 2 years at least, more than enough to enjoy and not too bad for what should be considered as a “fresh product”!
This is only the beginning, we’ll go even further back to the sources of natural and the good juice of the vine!”