Tout Bu, Or Not Tout Bu?
Wine: Domaine du Possible 'tout bu or not tout bu'
Region: Côtes du Roussillon
Grapes: Grenache, Mourvedre
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
It was about this hour last week when the wheels came off. Too many of us were taken by surprise - shocked, actually - when the shapes on the TV map colored red, one after the other, as if blood had been spilled across the screen. How did we not realize so many Americans lived in such fear? At what point did we lose touch with the silent opposition? I know you didn't come here to read political rhetoric, but as an artist, it is my duty to speak up and speak out. Yes, I just called myself an artist.
The great majority of wines on this blog are French, and some of us, including French winemakers, fear what wines will remain available and affordable once the new regime begins to play. Significant disruption to trade agreements and elevated taxation could negatively effect the vinous life as we know it. Remember when the second Bush administration imposed a 300% tariff on Roquefort cheese? That creamy, salty, decadent goodness disappeared for a while. I suspect we will soon see reports from wine writers on these concerns, once the sting of white nationalism dulls a bit. In the mean time, while the existentialist in me asks, WTF? The philosopher-oenophile asks, Tout bu or not tout bu? The clever play on words suggests a dilemma of quantity rather than existence. While Hamlet sinks deeper inside his own head, the more timely question is whether or not to drink this entire bottle right now.
Domaine du Possible 'Tout Bu or Not Tout Bu'
Loïc Roure and his artist girlfriend live in a loft/winery in France's Côtes du Roussillon, an AOC that sits south and west of the Languedoc and just north of the Spanish border. I've written about a couple of his wines before, also named with tongue-in-cheek. His organic approach in the vineyards and light touch in the winery make wines that are unfiltered, barely if at all sulphured, and individualistic in expression. So called natural wines often present so much bottle variation that you might wonder if you're drinking from the same batch. Depending on which camp you join, that's a boon or a bust. My artist friend Tim Stevenson used to say - and probably still does - that consciousness is different everyday. And so are Loïc's wines. We tasted one of these a couple of weeks ago at Keife & Co, where I've been working part time, and the wine was particularly austere, shy and slow to open up. Tonight, it's a touch more ready and willing. Great timing Tout bu! I could use some vibrancy right about now.
The 'tout bu or not tout bu' is made with grenache and mourvedre grown in clay and limestone soils that were harvested by hand and partially foot-trodden before going through fermentation. Some of the fruit was thrown into the fermentation vat whole cluster, inducing a partial carbonic-maceration. The result is a bright, fruity drink with soft tannins and friendly vibe. As I mentioned, some bottles might need a little time to warm up to company, but its soft profile and easy, dusted fruit flavors make it a fun and interesting match for turkey and various accompaniments. Perfect for us Americans to celebrate that time our ancestors bamboozled the natives into selling their land for a few bottles of rotgut and a ball of pocket lint.
Seriously though, this is delicious juice. Get some. I love you.