Off To France

Vacation time can means different things for employees of KLWM. So far this year we’ve headed to Hawaii, Vermont, Zion National Park, and a few have taken the relaxing “stay-cation,” choosing just to stay home. I’ll be following in the footsteps of many salespeople who decide to spend their precious vacation time traveling to France, visiting the properties of the vignerons’ whose wines we import.

Having been fortunate enough to study in France during college, this pilgrimage will be a new discovery of a country and culture I’ve already learned to love. What an opportunity.

Here are a few producers I’ll be visiting and why I’m excited to see their properties.

Domaine Les Pallières

I’m going to ask that the tour at Kermit and the Brunier’s domaine will include a viewing of the “Terrasse du Diable” vineyard. This VT011-VIGNES-PALLIERES-DENTELLESparcel is located high above the winery and beneath the imposing Dentelles de Montmirail. It is responsible for the wild, brambly, and chewy bottling of the same name. The 2007 Gigondas “Terrasse du Diable” is available for the moment at $34 a bottle. It is one of 2007’s greatest wines. The vineyards of Pallières are pictured to the right.

Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe

What self-respecting Kermit Lynch employee wouldn’t want to see the famous “La Crau” vineyard? The stones! The massive galets covering the vineyard floor of this Châteauneuf-du-Pape are legendary among fans of Vieux Télégraphe, and that is something I’ve got to see with my own eyes.
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The La Crau vineyard at Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe

Domaine Comtesse Bernard de Cherisey

De Cherisey produces classic Chardonnay, described by my colleague Michael Butler as “wine from a different time.” White Burgundy like this doesn’t come around very often unless you purchase from the likes of Coche-Dury and Antoine Jobard. Unlike Coche, de Cherisey is regularly available for purchase and at a fraction of the price.
Vigneron, Laurent Martelet, is a family man who took over his mother-in-law’s vines in the late ‘90s and has focused his craft on making precise, mineral-driven wines. He’s even writing a book on his winemaking philosophy. Start purchasing these wines now. Demand is quickly growing, but the supply isn’t. The 2008s are currently on pre-arrival.
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De Cherisey’s Meursault “La Genelotte” 1er cru vineyard

Pierre Guillemot

Kermit has imported the red and white Burgundies of Pierre Guillemot since the 1970s. They aretightly coiled, terroir-driven masterpieces that never break the bank (premier crus for $35!?!). Entering the Guillemot cellar is like taking a step back in time, not just because of the old vintages that are often opened during tastings, but because nothing has changed in decades. The wines and family are true to their roots, old-school Burgundian. I can’t wait to get underground with them.

I’ll be taking a hiatus from the blogging during my two weeks in France but I’ll be updating the KLWM Facebook and Twitter accounts regularly. I hope to have some interesting tidbits for you when I return.

4 Comments

  1. My wife and I own a home in Sablet, the entrance to the village is just past the road that leads up to Domaine Les Pallieres. I know that Kermit is down on restaurants and markets in France. If you have time you should go to one or more of the following places; I think they might give you a different impression than the one that Kermit holds.

    Tuesday morning market in Vaison La Romaine. Absolutely wonderful.

    These are three of our favorite restaurants that are close to our home in Sablet. We have had multiple great meals there.

    Le Mesclun, Séguret: Very good food and elegant dining in this multi-story restaurant located in the center of the old village of Séguret. There is a very pretty terrace for outdoor dining on sunny days. It is advisable to park at the village entrance and walk through the old village. Menus prices: €19-34. Rue des Poternes, Séguret, Tel: 04 90 46 93 43

    Campagne, Vigne & Gourmandises is in Ste. Cécile les Vignes; appropriately named after the main attractions of the Côtes du Rhône. It is located just outside the village on the road to Suze la Rousse. Wonderful food for very reasonable price. Prices: €21-32. Rte.de Suze la Rousse, Ste. Cécile les Vignes, Tel: 04 90 63 40 11

    Le Temps de Vivre; Thierry Bonfante and his wife Audrey have restored a rustic farmhouse in the tiny hamlet of Les Farjons, just north of Uchaux. The cuisine is wonderful using local produce and ingredients. One of the best price/quality ratios I have seen. Menus are €29-38. Prices: €15-30. Les Farjons, Uchaux, Tel: 04 90 40 66 00

    Bon voyage! Have a great trip.

    Michel Augsburger
    Bistro Des Copains
    Occidental, California

  2. Hi Kermit, don’t know if you plan to swing across to Languedoc-Roussillon while you’re on your trip to the south of France, but if you do, you could do worse than check out http://www.lovethatlanguedoc.com . Founder Ryan O’Connell of O’Vineyards puts a lot of time and energy into raising the profile of wines and winemakers from the Languedoc-Roussillon, and I’d recommend him to you. Hope your trip goes well, Best wishes, Louise Hurren http://www.masdelecriture.fr louisehurren (at) wanadoo (dot) fr

  3. Jerry White says:

    Had dinner last week in Gordes.
    Try this Le Clos de Gustave. See http://www.leclosdegustave.com
    Cusine de Tradtional Provencale.
    We enjoyed it and my French wife thought it was the real deal.

  4. Clark Z. Terry says:

    Michel – Thank you so much for your recommendations! I’ve been to the Tuesday morning Vaison market, but it was years ago – I remember it being prolific and impressive. And thank you for the restaurant recs, hopefully I’ll be able to check a few out.

    Clark

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