Thursday, November 17, 2016
Tasting Natural Wines with Maurice Marle at Chez Maurice in Beaune - Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours
This wine bar, wine shop, restaurant, and guest house is kind of unique. The co-owner Maurice Marle is a character and gives the place a very special ambiance. On top of it. he is a dictionary when it comes to Burgundy wines.
Maurice is a champion of natural wine. Sue Dyson and Roger McShane: Les Vins de Maurice has become a gathering place for lovers of natural wine in Beaune, the strategically-placed town in the centre of Burgundy. We first heard about it from Alice Feiring, who in turn had learned about it from Fanny Sabre, the young Burgundian winemaker.
Maurice guided us through a tasting explaining the terroir and character of the wines. This was lots of fun and at the same time a very educational evening.
Les Vins de Maurice
8 rue Fraisse
Different Concepts of “Green” Winemaking
Organic generally means the use of natural as opposed to chemical fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides. The key is: no chemicals. Organic wines are changing the look of vineyards, literally. Whereas vineyards of the past commanded neat rows rid of all insects, rodents and weeds, organic vineyards are now replacing costly and damaging chemical sprays with environmental partnerships. Pesticides are giving way to introducing low-growing plants between vine rows that host beneficial insects that keep the pest insects in check.
Unfortunately, while there is a broad consensus what organic vine growing means, there is no agreement on what organic wine making implies. The main issue is the use of sulfur in the fermentation process and the disagreement is between the US and Europe. In the US, organic winemakers are not allowed to add sulfites during winemaking; an organic wine is a wine with no added sulfur. In Europe, sulfites are allowed to be added during fermentation and an organic wine typically contains a modest amount of sulfur.
Sulfites are generally considered a required addition to a fine wine before bottling for two reasons: to prevent oxidation and prevent bacteria from running wild. This is a time-honored process. The Romans practiced it over 2,000 years ago. So, as a rule all wines produced in the world have been stabilized by adding sulfur, with a few exceptions. One of these exceptions are organic wines made in the US, such as the wine of Frey Vineyards in Mendocino County in California. Frey Vineyards uses other, innovative methods to stabilize wine, which others would consider outside of “green” winemaking.
Alternatively, in the US, wine made from organically grown grapes is an organic wine a la Europe: Organic in the vineyard, but probably sulfur added in the wine cellar.
Biodynamic is similar to organic farming in that both take place without chemicals, but biodynamic farming incorporates ideas about a vineyard as an ecosystem, and also accounting for things such as astrological influences and lunar cycles. Biodynamic is an approach following the rules and ideas of Austrian philosopher-scientist Rudolph Steiner. In his 1924 lectures, he viewed the farm as a closed circuit. Thus, farm animals are an integral part of biodynamic winemaking; they should consume the cover crops left between vines and their waste should be then replaced between those vines to rebuild the soil.
Sustainable farming means farming in a way that will allow for continued farming throughout the ages. In its broadest interpretation, sustainability refers to a range of practices that are not only ecologically sound, but also economically viable and socially responsible. Although nowhere defined by law, there are many certifications available for “Sustainable Wine.”
The idea behind natural wine is non-intervention and a respect for Mother Nature. Natural wines are hands-off wines produced with as little intervention as possible. Generally, the concept of natural wine relates more to what happens in the wine cellar rather than what happens in the vineyard. Again, nowhere is the term defined by law; it is left open to interpretation. Typically, only natural yeasts are used, the fermentation is slow, there is little or no use of new oak barrels; and there are no filtrations or cold stabilization. Commercial yeasts are one of the great culprits in today’s homogenization of wine, imparting their own aromas over those of the grape.
The carbon neutral label comes from a different angle: global warming. All economic activities have a carbon footprint, including wine making. Carbon neutral wineries are trying to make a contribution to the general efforts of reducing the emission of carbon dioxide. Belgrave Park Winery in Australia, for example, is a completely carbon neutral vineyard and winery. But the concept of cabon footprint should not stop at the gate of the winery. Researchers have found out, for example, that from a point of view of minimizing the carbon footprint, New Yorkers should drink Bordeaux instead of domestic wine from California.
A new thing is water footprint, reflecting the concern that the planet is moving into a period where water becomes more and more scarce.
Vegan refers to the process of fining the wine - eliminating undesirable items - with fining agents made from animal products, such as fish bladders and egg whites. As an alternative, Bentonite, a specific type of clay, is used for clarification in vegan wines.
Postings: Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours:From Lyon to Reims - Wine, Food, Culture and History (Published and Forthcoming Postings)
Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours: From Lyon to Reims - Wine, Food, Culture and History
Dinner at a Bouchon - Chez Paul - in Lyon: Schiller’s Favorite Bouchons in Lyon, France
Introduction to the Burgundy Wine Region at Antic Wine in Lyon with Flying Sommelier Georges Dos Santos - Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours
Lunch at L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, Paul Bocuse’s Iconic Restaurant in Collonges au Mont d’Or, France - Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours
In the Most Prestigious AOC in the Mâconnais: Pouilly-Fuissé, France
Vineyard Walk, Cellar Walk and Tasting at Domaine Ferret in Fuissé, Poully Fuissé, Mâconnais, with Winemaker Audrey Braccini - Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours
Visit and Tasting at Domaine Georges Descombes in Vermont, Villié-Morgon, Beaujolais - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Lunch at Restaurant Le Mercurey in Mercurey - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
At Domaine Theulot-Juillot in Mercurey, Côte Chalonnaise, with Nathalie Theulot - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Tour of Château de Rully and Tasting of Domaine du Château de Rully Wines, with Count Raoul de Ternay - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Michel Prunier & Fille in Auxey Duresses, Côte de Beaune - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Where Robert Parker likes to Eat: Lunch at La Crémaillère in Auxey-Duresses - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Vineyard Walk in Meursault with Karoline Knoth - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Dinner at the 1 Michelin Star Restaurant Ed.Em in Chassagne Montrachet - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Olivier Leflaive in Puligny Montrachet: Vineyard Walk and Cellar Tour, with Olivier and Patrick Leflaive - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Lunch and Wine Tasting at La Table de Olivier in Puligny Montrachet with Olivier Leflaive – Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Visit: Hospices de Beaune – Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Lunch in a Typical French Brasserie: Le Carnot in Beaune - Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours
Visit and Tasting: Maison Joseph Drouhin in Beaune – Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours, France
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Beaune, Bourgogne
An American Making Ultra-Premium Wines in Burgundy: Visit and Tasting at Domaine Dublère in Savigny lès Beaune, with Owner/ Winemaker Blair Pethel - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Charcuterie and Cheese Paired with 12 Burgundy Wines at La Maison de Maurice in Beaune with Maurice Marle
Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Faiveley in Nuits-Saint-George, Côte de Nuits
Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Jean-Jacques Confuron in Prémeaux-Prissey Côte de Nuits with Louis Meunier
Lunch at Restaurant La Cabotte in Nuits-Saint-George
Visit and Tasting at Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair in Nuits-Saint-George with Thibault Liger-Belair
Visit of Château du Clos de Vougeot
Where the Most Expensive Red Wines Come from: Vineyard Walk, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Anne Gros in Vosne-Romanée, Côte de Nuits
Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Guillon & Fils in Gevrey-Chambertin, Côte de Nuits, with Jean-Michel Guillon
An Institution: Lunch at Restaurant Chez Guy in Gevrey-Chambertin
Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Armelle et Bernhard Rion in Vosne-Romanée, Côte de Nuits, with Alice Rion
Tour at the Fontenay Abbey (Bernard de Clairveau), Montbard
Wine Pairing Lunch, Cellar Visit, Vineyard Tour and Tasting at Domaine Jean Marc Brocard in Préhy, Chablis
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars and other Wine Venues in Chablis, France
Champagne – An Introduction, France
French Champagne Houses and German Roots
Visit and Tasting at the Grower Champagne House Champagne Jean Josselin in Gyé sur Seine, Champagne, with Jean Pierre Josselin, his Wife and Sharona Tsubota
Cellar Visit and Tasting at the Champagner House AR Lenoble in Epernay, Champagne, with Export Manager Christian Holthausen
Cellar Visit and Tasting at the Champagner House Taittinger in Reims, Champagne
Lunch at Brasserie Flo in Reims