Tuesday, February 27, 2001


I've recently learned that what makes successful wine importers successful is that they say "Gosh" all the time. They do their best to say it to Robert Parker, but they also say it to their customers. It gives everyone a participatory sense of astonishment, a shared child-like fascination with the wines the successful wine importer is trying to unload on an unsuspecting public.

Alternatively, the successful wine importer finds some dimwit of a millionaire who has made so much money on the web or elsewhere that he/she cannot imagine anything more interesting, charming and sophisticated then getting into the wine racket. Tell the dimwit that he can come along with you to France or Italy or Spain and help you choose your special barrels and you have an open checkbook.

We're taking applications from dimwits with big checkbooks looking to get into the wine racket. I'm sick of our financial controller limiting us to 300 bottles a month. Any dimwit who wants to get into the wine business should e-mail me ASAP. My e-mail address is listed somewhere on this site.

New Cuvée Busters!

Don't miss Franck Peillot's Altesse de Montagnieu 1999 Cuvée Buster! Only 600 bottles of this wine were made.

The wine is an experimental wild yeast fermentation which took five months longer to finish fermenting than the regular bottling. We also asked Peillot to leave some naturally occurring CO2. This wine is sort of available in New York City. Only 300 bottles have arrived as we lack major investors and internet venture capital guys to pay our bills. We are now limiting ourself to 300 bottles a month. I drank this wine two weeks ago at the producer's home so do let me know out there what you think.

Another New Cuvée Buster -- Estimated Arrival Date April 1!

I had asked Marc Ollivier at the Domaine de la Pépière to put aside 100 cases of 1997 Muscadet Clos des Briords and to let them get lost in the cellar for 5 to 15 years. To me, it was one of the best wines we ever imported and we imported the wine in the days when our financial controller would allow us to import 600 bottles a month! Olliver did not keep this wine for us.

Instead, he recently surprised me with the a special bottling of 1997 Domaine de la Pépière that came only from the old vines sites in the hamlet of Pépières. How old?

Honestly, why do you want to know?

The wine is sensational. We'll be selling the 2000 vintage at the same time (in increments of 300 bottles) but do buy some of this wine and put it aside somewhere in your cellar.

How long should you keep this wine?

As long as you like.

Rhône Wines from Eric Texier

Eric Texier was born in Bordeaux in 1961 and has lived in Lyon (or thereabout) since 1979. By profession, he is an expert in building materials, and he spent a year studying that subject at the Illinois Institute of Technology. After years spent working in the leisure and the nuclear industries, he decided to make a career of his true passion, wine, in 1990.
He thought at first of buying vineyards, and did extensive research to find areas where vineyards were neglected or forgotten, and found two in his favorite spots, the Northern Côtes-du-Rhône. He also travelled around the world to discover vineyards and meet winemakers. Three regions made a lasting impression on him: Burgundy, for vinification methods and respect of terroir, Piedmont for the radical changes in style and fashions that occurred in the 80s, and Oregon for its winemakers’outlook, free and unencumbered by the weight of traditions.
Fusing his discoveries in these three regions, he defined his winemaking objectives and applied them to his chosen region of Côtes-du-Rhône:

- to vinify as burgundians do, with respect for each vineyard’s specificity (emulating Michel Lafarge in Volnay and the Ramonet family in Chassagne-Montrachet)

- to turn his back on the heavy, nondescript style of traditional CDRs, which often lack fruit, and let the vineyards express their character (as the great Piedmont winemakers, like Elio Altare, do)

- not to be restricted by old-fashioned principles and consider that boldness doesn’t contradict tradition, and work in a new style while respecting what the previous generations have achieved (like the winemakers in Oregon and Washington state David Adelsheim or Joan Wolverton).

In 1992, he went back to school, studying viticulture and oenology, then worked with Jean-Marie Guffens at Verget. Guffens taught him to respect the grapes and how to use the lees, and Texier went on to emulate his buying of grapes from owners who had respected strict viticultural fashions. When he left, he had adopted the following ideas: no clones, shy-bearing root stocks, plowing the soil instead of using weed-killers, moderate yields paid as if the grower had cropped for the legal maximum (for example, asking for 35 hectoliters per hectare in Côtes-du-Rhône Villages but paying for 42 h/h), green harvests, lutte raisonnée (viticultural methods used in organic agriculture), no anti-rot sprays and hand picking.

His winemaking techniques for white wines include sorting at the vineyard and at the winery, whole clusters pressed in a vertical press (that's the old fashioned wood kind), no added yeast, barrel fermentation (less than 10% new wood), elevage on the fine lees, 100% malo for the dry wines, minimal usage of SO2, fining and filtration only when necessary, no pumping, elevage in a naturally cool cellar (all wines are brought to the Beaujolais when fermentation is complete, to take advantage of an excellent cellar there, since those are rare in the south).

For red wines, he proceeds with sorting at the vineyard and at the winery, 100% destemming (most of the time), bringing grapes to the press by conveyer belt rather than pumps or screws, cold maceration under a CO2 blanket for aromatic extraction (5 - 8 days), no added yeasts, pigeage and remontage twice a day (breaking up of the cap by pushing it down, then pumping the juice over; this is done vat by vat with slow pumps) during both maceration and fermentation, temperatures controlled not to exceed 34 degrees C, elevage in 2 -5 year old barrels and larger capacity barrels (450 l), with as much as 10% of these new. No filtration; egg white fining if necessary before bottling.

Texier’s white wines include Mâcon-Bussières, Viognier, and, in vintage 2000, a rare Brézème white (all Roussanne) and Cassis (Marsanne and Clairette). The reds include Brézème (a 100% Syrah CDR), Côte-Rôtie and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and in vintage 2000 Séguret, St-Gervais and Chusclan.

Thursday, February 22, 2001

Wine Importer is in Interactive Mood

I'm leaving a lot of messages this past week at Robert Callahan's Wine therapy board. I need some internet interaction -- it's lonely out here in my blog!

Take a look at Robert's excellent wine forum:

Wine therapy

Sunday, February 11, 2001

The Multi-Talented Dominique Derain

I tasted at Dominique Derain's cellar tonight and got to sample his new vineyards in Mercurey. He has .90 ares there (about 2 acres) and 2000 was his first harvest. The wine is very interesting and please consult Robin Garr's excellent Wine Lover's Discussion Group (WLDG) for extensive tasting notes.

I visited Derain with two van loads of American visitors. The first van was entirely from the American South, including representatives from Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. The second van had Louis/Dressner customers from the Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Cleveland and Oklahoma City. All told, 29 glasses were passed around for us all to taste his Mercurey. Given he made only 35 hectolitres/hectare, sampling our group significantly reduced the overall availability of 2000 Mercurey for the 11 American markets represented in his cellar.

Anyhow, in the process of passing around his pipette 29 times, Derain told us about the quality of his first Mercurey crop and the comments of Mercurey's well-known Vigneron Michel Juillot.

Michel Juillot, who has made many great wines in his day, is one of the rare Burgundians who continues to roll his r's. Everyone used to, but it is now looked down upon as an ignorant peasant's pronunciation. Juillot is probably the last of the rolling r vignerons and one can only fear that when Michel leaves the earth, so does this particular patois.

Derain's imitation is both brilliant and hilarious. I heartily recommend that you stop next time you are in St-Aubin, try out some of Derain's biodynamique wines, and request Dominique's fabulous Michel Juillot imitation. This is a must for all Burgundy lovers.

I speak French with a New York patois and have all the classic problems of Anglophones in pronouncing the r correctly in French. This always made interaction with Michel Juillot difficult when my firm represented his wines. It also creates problems in my summer home of Poil Rouge in the Maconnais. My neighbor, Monsieur Riguet, is originally from the Charollais. He rolls his r's

Derain's estate appears to be Reverdy/Yaniger free. Derain is in biodynamie and Stuart is on public record as finding biodynamie to be just so much hogwash. The other problem is that Derain likes to put wax seals on his bottles and there seems to be a problem with using wav seals and sythetic corks.

Derain recently attended a Foucault jeebus. Derain feels that what is exception there is the cellar itself. Move the vinification elsewhere, out of that cellar that has seen generations of Saumur-Champigny, and you would no doubt not have the same wine. Even if it had massive distribution on the west coast.

Saturday, February 10, 2001

In Response to Popular Demand

We have acquired a significant stock of Chateau Pierre Bise Gamay. We will soon be importing vintages 1995, 1996 and 2000. Please search Robin Garr's excellent wine board for extensive tasting notes.

Serial Jeebus Attacks!

The van has moved on and everyone seems healed. We are down to two vans, with one group breaking off to go to Paris to view an Opera on Saturday night. They are planning to attend the opening of Die Reverdy, an opera that will be opening in San Francisco in May. More about that later.

Highlights of the past few days include:

1. The Annual Clos Rougeard Jeebus -- Peter Weygandt, noted wine importer, informed one of our group that the prices at the Clos Rougeard are so high as they need to finance the daily jeebus feeding. That's one perspective.

Highlights of the Thursday morning Jeebus included the 1990 Bourg, a wine that made me thankful that I quit smoking and that my heart now receives a dose of oxygen. There was also the incredibly radiant, if not radioactive 1997 Moelleux Coteaux du Saumur. I resolved this would be the last Chenin Blanc I would ever drink....what would another glass add to the experience?

Louis/Dressner Selections now shares this estate with Stuart Yaniger, who will be importing industrial quantities for wine stockists in Northern California. One of the Foucault brothers (I forget which) told me that Yaniger guaranteed at least 800 cases in the bat of an eye wink. Or something like that.

One of the things that makes the wine so good here is the barrels from Dussieux. This is a local tonnellier who ages barrels the old way: three years outside. Unfortunately, other barrel makers are using intense industrial treatments to rush wood to market. The Foucault barrels are always incredibly harmonious and add something to the wine rather than detract.

One of many Foucault brother told me while we were tasting the 1995 Poyeux that the reason Osier Cote Rotie is so expensive is that enormous quantities are sent for free to Northern California to entertain important internet wine personalities at tasting events. I've never attended these events so I had nothing to say on this matter.

We then drove the two vans on to Saumur to let off one of our members at the train station. From there we were off to Chinon for jeebus number two.

2. This Jeebus featured endless bottled of Chinon from Domaine Bernard Baudry. " Gosh," I said to my assembled customers as they got back into the vans, "Chinon doesn't get much better than this." I have started saying Gosh because I understand that competitor wine importers use this term to pressure customers to buy their wines. Gosh!

I'm not certain what Bernard Baudry's relationship is with Stuart Yaniger, but I did notice a bag of sample synthetic corks in his cellar and a bumper sticker with the international 'Don't Drink Poulsard' symbol attached to Baudry's Peugeot. Mysteriously, I have lost 800 cases of my annual allocation at Baudry and I fear they are destined for bat winked Northern Californians. There is even talk of a Yaniger Six-Pack at one of the local wine outlets.

We then got back into the vans and drove about four hours to Sancerre. We had hoped to eat at the Pomme d'Or but arrived too late to be served. All the tables were taken up by people on the Peter Weygandt Tour, sampling Sancerre from one of Sancerre's prestigious Reverdy. The tour members were deciding whether this Reverdy should cold stabilize and filter his 2000 Sancerre or not. I have always been an admirer of participatory democracy (I have a signed photo of Tom Reverdy Hayden above my desk in New York City) and found this an overwhelming experience.

As I was fearful of losing customers or producers to Reverdy-Weygandt, especially given our recent losses to Reverdy-Yaniger, I hustled the two van loads out of the restaurant and made them eat at the only place that would take us. I had a Pizza au Crotin du Chavignol, which consisted of a frozen pizza with some goat cheese microwaved on top of the pie. I ordered a bottle of 1999 Sancerre from Hippolyte Reverdy, a distant cousin of Peter Weygandt-Reverdy, but no relation to Stuart Yaniger-Reverdy.

Frankly, I think people go too far with these hyphenated last names. I also agree that it is sexist that the child always bears the name of the father. But what would happen if Stuart Yaniger-Reverdy had a daughter named Ginger. And Peter Weygandt-Reverdy had a son named Frank. If Ginger married Frank would her name then be Ginger Yaniger-Reverdy-Weygandt-Reverdy? And what would their children be named. Enough is enough!

I had assumed that Yaniger-Reverdy was not importing Sancerre into California and was limiting their efforts to Brezeme, Pineau d'Aunis, Menu Pineau and Saumur-Champigny (800 cases from each appellation for stockists in Northern California and prestigious restaurant placements) until we visited the cellar of Jean-Paul Labaille the following morning.

3. Labaille-Thomas Cuvee Buster Sancerre Jeebus. We are now onto the forth (or maybe third) Cuvee Buster at this estate. There are 300 bottles ready to ship of the 1999 and we also got to taste the 2000 edition in barrel.

This wine comes from 75-year-old vineyards next to the Grand Cote. The 2000 had been harvested at 14.5 degrees and the 1999 at over 13.5. Gosh, that is very ripe for a Sancerre, I told my van loads of customers.

We may have trouble getting the wine. A Swedish importer has offered to buy it for 75 francs a bottle. If we match or beat the price than it will cost between $25.00 and $30.00 in retail outlets. Labaille also informed me that another American company had offered to buy the wine at 77 Francs a bottle and that they would fill the pipeline in a part of America where Louis/Dressner distribution is reputed to be weak. While no names were dropped, dear reader, the conclusion is obvious.

I'm in Beaune tonight and have tasted already at Sylvie Esmonin and Francois Legros. I have to get up early tomorrow to taste at Amiot-Servelle with a busload of customers with Southern drawls.


Thursday, February 08, 2001

Internet Wine Personality Jeff Connell Emerges from Hotel Room!

Jeff Connell emerged from his hotel room today, inspired by the news that Stuart Yaniger has found a distributor in Northern California who will import 800 cases of Menu Pineau 2000 and sell all 800 cases in the bat of an eyelash.

Congratulations are due!

Jeff is considering a move to Emeryville upon his return to America.

More to come....

Wednesday, February 07, 2001

Where have all the blogs gone?

Disease and pesitlence have seized my group here in the Loire Valley. We hope to have new reports soon, but my entire group (38 people travelling in three rental vans) has been overtaken by fierce stomach infections. Noted internet wine personality Jeff Connell is barely alive.

Details to come..

Sunday, February 04, 2001

Vintage 2000 Report: The Year of Pineau d'Aunis

That's right. Pineau d'Aunis.

This is a grape variety that is either acidic/austere or full/rich/complex. There's nothing in-between. It is not syrah, never has too much color and will never smell or taste like raspberry cheese cake. French oenologists have tried numerous enzyme/hormone treatments to get the much vaunted raspberry cheese cake effect (see my tasting notes below regarding Lindemans Bin 50 Shiraz) but alas, as the Angevins say, to no avail. Pineau d'Aunis is simply immune.

Vintage 2000 was a truly great year for this variety. Pineau d'Aunis easily hit 12 degrees or 13 degrees and the new century begins with a true treat for all Auniseans out there.

I'm blogging here in my beautiful hotel room at the 5 Star B&B Hotel outside of Angers. Yesterday, I attended a marvelous tasting in Bourgueil which grouped together Pineau d'Aunis producers from all over the Loire Valley. Some tasting note highlights:

Clos Roche Blanche Pineau d'Aunis Touraine 2000 -- lively and nervous, but rich stuff with floral overtones. Lightly colored, this superb wine can be drunk now or held for 18 months. It is best to wait two months to drink as the wine is still in cuve and the Clos Roche bottling team projects a late March bottling. So, push my projected drinking timetable back two months to allow sufficient time for the wine to be bottled.

Emile Heredia Coteaux du Vendemois 2000 -- There will be two bottlings of Pineau from this exciting new producer. Not only is 2000 a fabulous vintage for the Coteau du Vendemois it also marks a major turning point for the region -- they have been upgraded from VDQS to AOC. I am predicting that prices will rise dramatically here, so stock up now.

Heredia is a former photographer who has bought land in the area that consists entirely of 80 year old vines. There will be two different bottlings of 2000 Aunis here: one approximates the Clos Roche bottling and is meant as a light quaffer, but the other went through a 10 day fermentation, is almost darkly colored (please remember, dear reader, that darkly colored is a relative term and we are talking about Pineau d'Aunis here). I found this wine exotic and lovely. Drink now or hold 28 months. As with the example from the Clos Roche Blanche, I strongly advise waiting two months for the wine to be bottled before consuming it. This will be difficult to do, as the wine is so delicious now that you will be constantly tempted to open the tap on your old foudres and pour a glass for yourself.

Domaine de Belliviere - Eric Nicolas -- Coteaux du Loir
Pineaux d'Aunis 1999 - this young producer in Jasnieres has produced a superb 1999 that exhibits unctuous layers of rose hip water and hawthorne. As good as this 1999 is, I am anxious to taste vat samples of his 2000 tomorrow at the annual Loire Valley wine show in Angers.

I am also looking forward to meeting, once again, Nicolas' fabulous international commercial agent. This fellow, the agent, lives in Holland and has an international exclusive for numerous famous French producers. No one understands how he has achieved this position but there are rumors that one has to wear a bow tie and no socks if you expect to succeed in the international wine agent business.

Of course, Angers is filled with American importers clamoring to grab up as much Pineau d'Aunis 2000 as possible. I feel that our firm, Louis/Dressner Selections, is in a good position, but the competition is fierce, intense and often bitter.

In a sense the competition is unfortunate. The American wine trade is projecting enormous American market demand for Pineau d'Aunis 2000 and already some of my competitors have offered to pay in advance and to pay more just to get quantities of the best Aunisian cuvee. This is particularly true for the wines that have received 95 points and more in the press. These wines have yet to be bottled, but are already being offered in grey market channels, often from Switzerland.

We at Louis/Dressner are not here in the Loire just to cherry pick a good vintage. We buy and sell Pineau d'Aunis year-in and year-out. I hope the best names in Aunis understand that the current American obsession with Pineau is temporary and that Pineau producers make commercial arrangements that are in their long-term interests.

Unfortunately, the frenzy has begun and it is difficult to know how it will all end.

Eric Texier Winemaker

Eric Texier is a new winemaker who we think is making superb Rhones. We have to write some promotional material about him and I have received the following e-mail in French from him, detailing his background and ambitions.

Someone will probably translate this soon, but until then, for those of you who read French, here it is:

Un petit CV

Je suis né à bordeaux en 19961. Je vis à Lyon depuis 1979.

J'ai 3 enfants : 11,8 et 4 ans.

J'ai une formation d'ingénieur en matériaux (une année à l'Illinois Institute of Technologie en 1983).

J'ai travaillé 15 ans dans l'industrie du loisir puis du nucléaire :

Clairement pas ma voie.

A partir de 1990, je décide de me reconvertir pour faire du vin, pour lequel je nourris une passion dupuis que j'ai 23 ans.

Au début je pense à acheter un vignoble.

Je fais beaucoup de recherches bibliographiques sur le vignoble français au 18ème et au 19ème siècles, pour trouver un vignoble inconnu oul abandonné afin de le faire revivre.

En 1991, j'en trouve 2 dans ma région favorite (les Côtes du Rhône septentrionales) : l'un d'eux est Brézème. L'autre sera ma prochaine surprise.

Je commence alors des démarches pour aquérir et replanter. En parralèle, je visite les vignobles du monde entier pour découvrir les différentes approches de la viticulture et de la vinification.

Quelques voyages me marquent beaucoup : la bourgogne pour la vinification et le respect du terroir, le Piémont pour le changement de
style de vins dans les années 80 et l'Orégon pour l'état d'esprit sans
le poids du conservatisme.

La synthèse des trois constituera le point de départ d'une "philosophie"
à appliquer à ma région favorite : les Côtes du Rhône.

- Vinifier à la bourguignonne dans le respect du terroir comme Michel
Lafarge ou les Ramonet.

- S'eloigner du style lourd et pateux, de l'absence de fruit des CdR
traditionnels pour aller vers des vins plus représentatifs de leurs
terroirs respectifs, à l'instar de grands vignerons du Piémont comme
Elio Altare.

- Ne pas rester prisonnier de préjugés passéistes et partir du principe que l'audace n'est pas l'ennemi de la tradition. On peut faire du neuf sur la base du travail des anciens comme l'ont fait les vignerons de l'Orégon ou le Washington comme David Adelsheim ou Joan Wolverton
(Salishan Vineyards).

En 92, je commence des études de viticulture en d'oenologie à Bordeaux.
Dans ce cadre je travaille chez Verget avec JM Guffens dont je suis un
client et dont la nouvelle démarche au sein de Verget m'intéresse :
acheter des raisins à des priopriétaires de vielles vignes sur des sites rares ou prestigieux, sur la base de règles de viticulture strictes.

Pour ma part j'ai retenu les suivantes : Pas de clones, porte-greffes
peu productifs,pas de désherbage mais du labour, Rendements modérés
payés sur la base du rendement maximal de l'appellation (par exemple 35 hl/ha payés 42 en CdR Villages), vendanges en vert, lutte raisonnée, pas d'antibotrytis, vendanges manuelles.

Guffens m'a appris le respect de la matière première et l'utilisation
des lies.

Ce qui m'a conduit à adopter les dispositions suivantes :


Tri à la vigne et au cuvage, resurrage vertical en grappe entière,
débourbage naturel, pas de levurage, fermentation en fûts (moins de 10%
de neufs, je ne suis pas un inconditionnel du bois neuf), élevage sur lies fines, fermentation malolactique systématique sur les secs, utilisation minimale de SO2, collage et filtration uniquement si
obligatoire, pas de pompage sur les vins, élevage en cave naturelle à 10
12°C (nous remontons tous les vins finis dans le beaujolais pour y
bénéficier d'excellentes caves extrèmement rare dans le sud).


Tri à la vigne et au cuvage, égrappage total en général, mis en cuve par tapis, macération à froid sous CO2 solide pour l'extraction aromatique (5 à 8 jours), pas de levurage, Pigeage et remontage 2 fois par jour en macération et en fermentation, contrôle des températures au delà de
34°C, élevage en barriques agées 2 à 5 vins et en 450 l neuves par 0 à
10% suivants les vins. Pas de filtration et collage aux oeufs si nécessaire.

Je mets en oeuvre cette philosophie depuis 1995 sur Brézème, Bussières
(par goût personnel pour le maconnais). Plus recemment sur Côte Rôtie et Chateauneuf.

Depuis 2000 et pour les années à venir sur les villages de Cotes du
Rhône et la Provence:
En 2000 : Séguret, St Gervais, Chusclan, Cassis et une rareté : un blanc du roussanne de Brézème).
Bientot : Crozes, St Joseph, St Peray, Cairanne, Sablet, Gigondas,
Bandol, Palette .

Voilà. Prenez ce qui vous intéresse et laissez le reste...

Friday, February 02, 2001

Historic First Blog from Clos Roche Blanche


I forgot the power adaptor for me Casio Pocket PC and have not been able to blog (in fear of losing my battery charge) since I arrived in France on Wednesday morning.

Highlights of my trip so far:

1. A 1979 Brezeme Blanc that was one of the most memorable white wines I have ever enjoyed. Honied Rousanne from a great site. Drink now, or hold 15-18 years.

2. 1959 Romorantin Demi-Sec from Clos Roche Blanche -- what a cepage, what a vintage, what a wine! Drink now, or hold 15-18 years.

3. 1961 Morgon Cote du Pay -- like evolved and exquisite old Burgundy. Drink now, or hold 15-17 years.

4. 1985 Brezeme Rouge -- all syrah and with beautiful secondary aromas of apricot rinds. Drink now, hold, or cellar 8-12 years.

Keep tuned for more highlights.

My Second Industrial Wine in Four Days!

Faithful readers will recall that I drank a Lindemans Bin 50 Shiraz 1999 on Friday. Tonight, I'm writing these comments on a plane going to Lyon. Actually, I will have to post this Blog from Charnay-en-Beaujolais on Wednesday morning, as there are no wireless connections here on Delta Flight 28.

Anyhow, I have been drinking the little-known, but thirst-quenching Vignes de la Bergerie, a wine that was given to me by me Delta Flight Attendant. This wine comes from a negociant I have never heard of named Les Domaine Paul Mas and is a Cabernet Sauvignon Vin de Pays d' Oc. It comes in an attractive 187.5 ML bottle with a screw cap.

Is it great wine? No. It is crappy industrial wine with no pretense to be anything other than crappy industrial wine. God only knows what type of wine the coop where Paul Mas bought this wine produced before they used industrial winemaking techniques. Perhaps vinegar.

Using industrial techniques, they can now produce a perfectly acceptable crappy industrial wine that goes well with the horrible airline food. The wine is thirst-quenching, has a little pepper and a little sweet fruit, and has no pretense to be anything other than a correct crappy industrial wine. It is truly non-grandiose in the best sense of the phrase. I liked it so much I had two bottles for a whopping total of 375 ml!

To me, this wine is far superior to the Lindemans Bin 50. That wine is not only a crappy industrial wine, but also has pretenses to be a profound beverage. Someone in Australia has worked hard to find just the right combination of enzymes, yeasts and vinfication tricks to make it smell and taste like raspberry cheese cake.

Paul Mas is happy just to produce a correct, drinkable crappy industrial wine and for that small service I have to salute his courage and decency. Of course, I have no idea if there is really someone named Paul Mas or if that is a made-up trade name. My suspicion is that this Mas guy is a fictional character, but I could be wrong. Nevertheless, my hats off to Paul Mas.

By the way, we've been experience a lot of turbulence and the flight is something short of pleasant. I get into Lyon at 7:35 AM, along with my partner Kevin McKenna, and we are then off to Domaine des Terres Dorees in the Beaujolais. We will taste all of Jean-Paul Brun's 2000 vintage and then go taste wine at two farmers where he has bought Brouilly and Morgon that he will bottle later this year.

I am writing this on my fabulous Casio EM-500 PocketPC, using a GoType! keyboard. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring the power supply with me and I have only about 7 hours of battery life on this unit. Kevin and I hope to find a power supply tomorrow morning in the outskirts of Lyon, where there are numerous stores selling everything a human being might desire. I actually know which chain sells my computer in France and we will be going there first thing to buy a new AC/DC adapter.

I remembered my passport, airline ticket, drivers license, French electrical plugs, French telephone adapter, my modem, computer, and my underwear. I left my AC/DC adapter in my office.


I have a busy day ahead of me and need to get some sleep.