|There is no finer ambassador for Chateau d’Or et de Gueules than their very own dynamic winemaker and proprietress Diane de Puymorin. With hands flying in every direction, Diane clearly and precisely explains her philosophy, passion and technique for making wine with boundless charm. It takes but a moment with Diane to understand her vision for Chateau d’Or et de Gueules. Yes, I’m gushing over Diane, but it is unavoidable. On Thursday, Diane tasted TWH staff through her latest releases. Each one different, each one delicious, but it was the 2009 La Bolida that sent me farthest into orbit. A stellar wine!
La Bolida is made from the estate’s oldest Mourvedre vines thought to be over 100 years old. The best way to describe La Bolida is as Diane does, which is to point out La Bolida’s intrinsic paradox between power and roundness. On the one hand there is the grape, Mourvedre, so it is going to be big and powerful, full of dark smoldering fruit with smoke and leather notes, but on the other hand, Diane takes great measures to ensure round, velvety tannins. Yields are naturally low for the old-vine Mourvedre. Harvest takes place quite late, creating ripe concentrated juice. Diane ferments the wine doing punch downs to extract as much goodness as possible. First the wine ages in small barrel, then in large 500 hl. barrels for about a year and then rests in concrete tank before bottling. All this in done to fashion a round, lush texture. Unlike many Bandols that can be rustic and require cellaring, the 2009 La Bolida is ready to please, though built to age.
|It being Mother’s Day this Sunday, it seems only fitting to be showcasing one of my favorite winemakers who herself is the mother of five filles! Diane spent a couple days with us this week working the market, making the rounds, which included an appointment in North Beach with chef David Wees at Café Divine; a great spot to eat, drink and take in the atmosphere. Big fans of Diane’s wines, they were thrilled to finally meet her in person. Chef David was so delighted he rushed into the kitchen and brought out some tasty nibbles to share with Diane while sampling her wine. Diane remarked that this gesture is not, surprisingly, commonplace in the US, so kudos to Café Divine for their class and hospitality!
I’ll be hosting a Mother’s Day brunch, keeping it simple but with plenty of bubbles. Weather looks to be sunny, so a patio party is the plan. When the riffraff – my family – depart, I’ll be looking forward to popping something special in the evening. A glass of 2009 La Bolida? Yes please! —Anya Balistreri