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POURQUOI CE BLOG?

Ce blog est né de l'heureux hasard d'une rencontre, en 2010, au Salon des Vins de Loire d'Angers, autour d'un verre de rosé de Bourgueil - celui de Pierre Jacques Druet. Il y avait là cinq "plumitifs" du vin. Le rosé aidant, l'idée a germé de créer un espace commun.
Parce qu'à cinq, on peut aborder plus de thèmes.
Parce qu'on peut débattre.
Parce qu'on peut partager. Des coups de coeur, des coups de gueule, de l'expérience.
Et qu'est-ce que le vin sinon une boisson de partage?
De ces cinq, certains sont déjà des blogueurs confirmés, d'autres non.
Comme il y a les 5 sens, il y  a maintenant les 5 du Vin.

Les 5 du Vin

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QUI SOMMES-NOUS?

David Cobbold (Eccevino) est le plus français des journalistes anglais du vin, ou vice versa. Il a reçu en 2011 le Wine Blog Trophy pour  son blog, More than Just Wine.

Jim Budd, sujet de sa Gracieuse Majesté, est journaliste pour diverses revues britanniques. Amoureux des vins de Loire, il leur consacre un blog, Jim's Loire, primé en 2009 du Wine Blog Trophy.

Hervé Lalau est un journaliste français écrivant pour diverses revues et sites français, belges, suisses et canadiens. Son blog "Chroniques Vineuses" lui a valu le Wine Blog Trophy en 2010.

Michel Smith, PourLeVin, est un journaliste français établi en Roussillon, travaillant pour diverses revues et guides en France. Il s'intitule lui-même "Journaliste en Vins et autres Plats de Résistance".

Marc Vanhellemont est un journaliste belge travaillant pour divers magazines en Belgique et en France. Incontournable, sauf par la face nord.

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Vendredi: Vanhellemontday

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30 mars 2010 2 30 /03 /mars /2010 09:19
I spent a very enjoyable three hours on Saturday afternoon in the centre of Tours tasting 2009s at the 8th Fête des Vins de Bourgueil. Broadly the wines divided into two – spring cuvées from vines planted on the gravel and wines to keep that will be bottled later from vines planted on the clay and limestone of the coteaux.

2010Bourgposters.jpg
I was there


This is a clear example of terroir in action, even though the fruit in 2009 is so rich that I suspect many a ‘light’ spring cuvée would be a vin de garde in a more difficult and less generous year. It may well have been problematic in this vintage to make relatively light wines suitable to be slightly chilled for summer drinking. 

The bigger cuvées of Bourgueil, as they do in Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil and Chinon, invariably come from the clay limestone coteaux and the lightest from sandy soils close to La Loire.

Quite how grape juice and then wine come to reflect the place in which they are grown I’m not entirely certain. As far as I know scientific studies reject the notion that vine roots take up trace elements from the soil, which then end up in the grapes.

I suspect it is more the combination of soil, exposure, drainage etc. that makes the difference. In the other words a complex equation between the growing conditions and the vine.  



GaredeToursas.jpg
A la gare de Tours

   I have never understood the notion that some places have terroir and some don’t. Some places are certainly better adapted to growing grapes, others more suited to growing potatoes or for building houses. The Bourgueil tasting was held a very short step away from the central station of Tours.  Given the magnificence of the station one has to conclude that this is ideal terroir for a railway station and probably would not have been ideal for vines. “La gare s’exprime son terroir!’

Give that the universality of terroir is self-evident, I was disappointed to read the following comments from Jane MacQuitty, The Times long-time wine correspondent in her column (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/article7077471.ece) last Saturday.    

‘New World winemakers loathe the French idea of terroir, the notion that the soil, climate, aspect and altitude of a slope all create a unique patch of dirt whose character is reflected in the wines that are made there each vintage and cannot be reproduced elsewhere.’

‘Grape growers in New World countries, especially Australia, refuse to acknowledge terroir, dismissing it as self-serving mumbo jumbo.’

Doubtless Jane was deliberately exaggerating to make a point but it is, I’m afraid, lazy journalism – it just isn’t true. Not sure however, that it fully deserved being described as ‘drivel’ on a popular wine forum. 

If New World producers really didn’t believe in terroir or a sense of place, then all the Chilean vineyards would still be on the flat Central Valley and the Casablanca, Apalta Valleys along with others would never have been developed. In Australia vines would not have been planted in the Adelaide Hills or in the Clare Valley. I could go on… Perhaps it really was drivel!

BourgCrowds.jpg

Crowd

Much more interesting than strident declarations about terroir is trying to tease out exactly why different locations affect the taste of the wine. To return to Saturday’s Bourgueil tasting – why are the wines from the sand and gravel of Chouzé-sur-Loire different in flavour, structure and longevity from those of clay and limestone of Benais? 

(c) Jim Budd

 



 

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commentaires

Jim Budd 31/03/2010 08:23


Michel. I think there are two notions here: terroir (place) and what the terroir gives (sense of place). Clearly it takes time (a number of vintages) to understand the nuances of what a
particular
vineyard or area gives. However, I suspect that it didn't take very long for the earliest producers in Bourgueil to realise that the wines coming from sandy soils were different from those on
the
limestone coteaux.

I agree that the wine history of New Zealand is short but already there is a keen appreciation of what the different sectors of Marlborough give. In Australia the history is longer starting
from
the time of the first European settlement.

Also, of course, it is never really a question of a producer saying I know everything about my terroir more a question of continuous discovery.


Michel Smith 30/03/2010 21:26


When it comes to terroir expression, that of Bourgueil (& Chinon, & others in the Loire valley) has an obvious historical background. Neither Australia, nor NZ has this particular notion of
terroir since their wine history is rather recent. So it seems to me, anyhow. But that doesn't mean they can't create their own terroirs. This has happened in California and even in some parts of
Australia. Time, as well as wine history, will recognize these terroirs as signs of established quality plots of lands adequate for the best vine growing. Forgive my charabia.


Patrick C 30/03/2010 14:17


Une chose est quasi certaine: quand la Chine va peser dans le monde du vin et vendre en occident (disons dans une trentaine d' années), les Californiens, les Chiliens, les Argentins, les
Australiens, les Néo-Zélandais,...vont tous adorer et honorer l' idée du terroir, de la spécificité, du lieu, de l' homme, de son village...
Et je me disais aussi: Le Times n' est-il pas un produit du terroir?
Merci Jim pour toute cette reflexion.


Hervé 30/03/2010 11:50


And you can't escape récupération du terroir either...
But you are right, Jim.