As the good old Miles Raymond teaches us in the famous movie Sideways, which I gather every winelover must have seen at least a couple of times, we all keep our most precious bottles waiting for the perfect moment so to seal it with an exceptional toast. As history teaches us however, we often end up opening them in moments of discouragement and utmost sadness.
No, we are not dissociated or out of our minds when that happens, it is only that some bottles are meant to find you when you desperately need them most, and Chantal Remy’s 2014 Clos des Rosiers was destined to be a soul-saver. That’s the way us girls who love wine are! When we are blue and a little stressed out with life, we throw on our Princess’s gowns, choose that special bottle filled with magic that can keep the heart warm, laugh to tears and cry until we can laugh about it! There is nothing that cannot possibly be overcome with your best friends and one of your best bottles! And putting aside our contingent emotional excess, I can assure you that the authentic elegance and absolute grace of this Pinot Noir is truly poignant!
I must admit I am not a great expert of Burgundy, not yet but I am making up for it. However, any superlative wine does not depend on any specific knowledge we have of its production area, and this Pinot Noir from Morey – St Denis, on the Côte de Nuits, which is considered the homeland of the best Pinot Noirs of Burgundy and of the World, is certainly a superlative bottle. A rare 𝗣𝗶𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗡𝗼𝗶𝗿 that heals the soul! It takes you by the hand all the way to Burgundy, in a vineyard after a rainstorm gliding over the rainbow. The rain washes out everything, makes the air so clean that everything is so perfectly clear and precise; the colors, the fragrances and vibrations of life. The wet earth, the wild strawberries and blackberries, a rose garden, a pathway of eucalyptus, and the sunlight that breaks through the clouds and the cracks of the soul. An eloquent glass of poetry!
Madame Chantal, born in the profession and raised in the family tradition, is an oenologist by choice. She perfected her talent in the family business “Louis Remy” working alongside her mother after the death of her father in 1982. At her mother’s death in 2008 the property, of only 11 acres, was divided among the 3 legitimate heirs, and Chantal was left with 3.5 of them. But as chance would have it, all the Grand Crus went to her, a wonderful stroke of luck! The following year she decided to change the name of the estate from “Louis Remy” to “Domaine Chantal Remy”; because for some time now, wine had been made there according to the vibrations of her soul, which now resonated perfectly with the vibrations of her land, because
“it is by working the land and by taking care of it that we start feeling it belongs to us”.
and this land now belonged to her completely.
I wondered, while reading her story, whether the movie “Back to Burgundy”, directed by Cédric Klapisch, has not been inspired just a little by Chantal. As a matter of fact, it is the daughter Juliette, in the movie, to give a new direction to the family business after the death of her father and the division of the estate among the heirs, determined to make wine the way she wanted it as she is the one with the best skills after all. But maybe it is just a predictable coincidence that the two stories are so similar, because Burgundy is Burgundy, a land where people change but everything stays the same. A land where
” … every acre of soil has its own fertilizing mulch of history, in which saints and sinners have conspired to consecrate the grape…. with the villages and vineyards of France refusing to be anything but a place enshrined in a name…. and wine in the opinion of Alexandre Dumas, you should drink on your knees, with head bared in reverence… because the vine is, for the Burgundians, something more spiritual than vegetal, and their soil more heaven than earth.”
(freely adapted from Roger Scruton “I Drink Therefore I Am – A Philosophical Guide to Wine” which I strongly advice you to read)
Today Madame Chantal can count on roughly 9.0 acres divided in parcels of land among Chambertin, climat Latricieres-Chambertin, Clos de la Roche and some plots on the climats of Derriere La Grange and Les Freimer in Chambolle Musigny, and lieu-dit Aux Cheseaux in Morey St Denis. But the tiny vineyard of Clos des Rosiers, which will legitimately aspire to the rank of Premier Cru when the vines will be sufficiently “Old”, is in a unique and very special place; in fact, it represents a natural extension of Chantal’s garden, so much so that her son calls it the vegetable home garden of the Remys. A little less than one acre of pure magic in a sea of roses!
What does remain in our hearts of this experience? Most certainly, the memory of a wonderful evening with best friends, amidst sadness, emotions, and a newfound serenity. Then the urging desire to uncork another one of these wonderful bottles, and that’s how I started searching frantically, there are very few of them! But as my beloved Mariangela always reminds me, the Universe is always listening if you are connected; just ask and it will be given to you!
And this is how I became the proud owner of two bottles of Clos des Rosiers Monopole 2010! The Universe has been very generous considering that 2010 has been a wonderful vintage in Burgundy! Last but not least, the desire to meet Madame Chantal, and who knows, maybe that one too might happen in the near future! I have just enrolled in the FIS Burgundy Master’s here in Rome with an exceptional teacher, Paolo Lauciani, and a truly amazing wine list. And the trip to Burgundy is already on my agenda!
Oh I forgot! We did not use Mc Donald’s style paper cups as Miles did with his Château Cheval Blanc, but Zalto Burgundy, as the occasion demanded… at least that! Cheers!
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