Monday, March 13, 2017

Winemaker Dinner with David Reynaud, Domaine les Bruyeres, Crozes-Hermitage in the Rhone Valley, at Chef Bart Vandaele's BToo in Washington DC, USA/ France

Picture: Winemaker David Reynaud, Domaine les Bruyeres, Crozes-Hermitage in the Rhone Valley, and Chef Dieter Samyn, BToo, Washington DC

Chef Bart Vandaele's BToo on 14th Street in Washington DC, NW, is a leading restaurant in the Nation's Capital. Annette Schiller (ombiasy PR and WineTours) and I love to go to winemaker dinners at BToo and organize ouerselves winemaker dinners there. The food of BToo Chef Dieter Samyn and Belga Cafe/ BToo Executive Chef Bart Vandaele is always most creative and delicious. Chef Bart is a fun guy to hang around with and guide us through the evening. And BToo has a separate room in the basement that is perfect for special events like winemaker dinners.

Pictures: BToo on 14th Street in Washington DC, NW

Recent ombiasy PR and Winetours Dinners organized by Annette Schiller at BToo

Recent winemaker dinners organized by Annette Schiller at BToo include:

Winemaker Dinner with Château LAFON-ROCHET Wines and Winemaker Anaïs Maillet at Chef Bart Vandaele’s Hipp B Too Restaurant in Washington DC, US/France

Picture: Annette Schiller and Château LAFON-ROCHET’s winemaker Anaïs Maillet at B Too in Washington DC

Post-Rieslingfeier and Pre-Big Glou Dinner with 3 Top Winemakers from Germany at BToo in Washington DC: Clemens Busch, Immich-Batterieberg and Koehler-Ruprecht, USA

Picture: Gernot Kollmann, Weingut Immich-Batterieberg, Annette Schiller, Dominik Sona and Franzi Schmitt, Weingut Koehler-Ruprecht and Clemens Busch, Weingut Clemens Busch, at Bart Vandaele's BToo in Washington DC

Winemaker Dinner with David Reynaud

This time, it was star winemaker David Reynaud from the Rhone Valley, who was the special guest. David Reynaud is a biodynamic winemaker. Biodynamic winemaker is one of various concepts of what I call "green winemaking" (see below).

In the Washington DC area, his wines are being imported and distributed by elite wines. Laurant Lala from elite wines orchestrated the evening and provided the translation for David Reynaud, who does not speak English. BToo Chef Dieter Samyn prepared an outstanding dinner for us.

Domaine les Bruyeres - David Reynaud

Regal Wine Imports: In 1955, Georges Reynaud planted 20 hectares of vines on a gentle slope along the Isère River (Rhône tributary) in the southern sector of Crozes-Hermitage. Domaine Les Bruyères is located in Beaumont-Monteux, one of the appellation’s eleven communes just three miles northeast of Pont de l’Isère, where renowned Crozes vigneron Alain Graillot and sons tend their vines.

Through the 2002 vintage, the family’s grapes were sold to the local cooperative winery, but the following year, Georges Reynaud’s then 28-year-old grandson, David, completed construction of a modern winemaking facility just in time for the 2003 crush. Upon assuming control of the domaine from his mom a few years earlier, David had instituted an organic regimen in the vineyard, so the domaine was certified by Ecocert the same year (2003) as his first crush. Further research and experimentation, and the influence of friends like Matthieu Barret of Domaine du Coulet in Cornas, led to the adoption of the principles and practices of biodynamics, and in 2005, Les Bruyères received its Biodyvin certification.

Picture: Christian Schiller, Annette Schiller and David Reynaud

Different Concepts of “Green” Winemaking

Organic

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.

Pictures: Reception with Christian Schiller, David Reynaud, Annette Schiller and Laurent Lala of elite wines.

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

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.

Pictures: David Reynaud and Dieter Samyn before the Dinner

Sustainable

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.”

Natural

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.

Carbon Footprint

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.

Picture: Winemaker Dinner with David Reynaud, Domaine les Bruyeres, Crozes-Hermitage in the Rhone Valley, at Chef Bart Vandaele's BToo on 14th Street in Washington DC, USA/ Franc

Water Footprint

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

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.

David Reynaud

David Reynaud provides a description of how he sees himself on his website: David Reynaud is an enthusiast and, even if he can speak to you during hours of his work and his wines, it is a discreet man. He prefers by far, to be on his tractor in the middle of his vineyards(vines) or in his cuverie to elaborate his assemblies. Only the tastings of a good vintage wine or a good food can take away this Epicurean of his Domain. David Reynaud is a follower of the nature and of "? Indeed eat and the good drink? ", his attachment in the biological culture and in the biodynamie result from its personal commitment and values which he defends. David's philosophy becomes famous for the investment and the love which he puts in his work. You will discover through the various vintages of the Domain the pallet of its know-how.

BToo

Since its opening a couple of years ago, B Too, sister restaurant of Belga Café on Capitol Hill, consistently receives high acclaims for its creative cuisine. Fresh, local, seasonal produce and continual creativity in the kitchen make every meal exceptional.

Picture: Fuad Issa, Annette Schiller, Bart M. Vandaele, Christian Schiller, Laurant Lala, Elite Wines, Etienne Verdier, Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard and Greet De Keyser, Bart M. Vandaele's Partner. See: Chef Bart M. Vandaele Celebrated the 2 Year Anniversary of his B Too Restaurant with the Wines of Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard from Chablis, USA/France

Chef Dieter Samyn

Dieter Samyn was born and raised in Belgium. As a graduate of the Hotelschool Ter duinen, after several internships at Michelin starred restaurants in France, Spain and Belgium, he started working for Alain Ducasse, a 3 star Michelin chef, where he worked at Le Louis XV, Le Plaza Athenee and Spoon. From there he went to Peter Goossens, another 3 star Michelin chef located in Belgium, where he worked with for 4 years. In 2013, he joint Chef Bart at B Too.

Pictures: Annette Schiller, Christian Schiller and Chef Dieter Samyn

Wine-pairing Dinner with Winemaker David Reynaud and Chef Dieter Samyn


Amuse bouches

Profiteroles de foie gras
Salmon in seaweed and basil
Truffled egg


Crémant de Limoux, Brut, Joseph Salasar, NV

Appetizers

Smoked lobster, carrot, blood orange sauce


Domaine les Bruyeres (David Reynaud) Crozes Hermitage Blanc "Aux Bêtises d'Heloise", 2015 (US$33)

Grapes: 55% Marsanne, 45% Roussane. The nose is very intense and very rich, expressing notes of wax, incense, white fruit jam, anise, menthol and apricot. The palate is sappy and very long, very dense, with a magnificent final quince jelly and old rose.


Dave McIntyre in the Washington Post: Labeled organic and biodynamic, this rugged syrah clearly is aimed at fans of “natural wines,” those made with minimal interventions and additives in the winery. It’s grippy, almost gritty in texture, grabbing your palate with dense flavors of blackberry, sage, game, earth and pepper. Give this one an hour or so in a decanter to let it decide whether it likes you. It’s very French. And very delicious. ABV: 13.5 percent.

Scallops, gnocchi, red wine and boudin blanc


Domaine les Bruyeres (David Reynaud) Syrah Les Monestiers 2015 (US$25)

100% Syrah from 15 year old vines. The vines are planted on a mixture of mixture of limestone and clay soils near the commune of Châteauneuf-sur-Isère just north of the city of Valance in the Rhone Valley. The viticulture practice is certified biodynamic and all the vines are harvested by hand. The grapes are 100% destemmed and the wine is vinified in concrete tanks for aproximately 28-30 days. The wine is then matured for 8 months in concrete tanks before bottling. Around 4 900 bottles are produced each year.


Entrée

Venison rack cut table side, pear, salsify, panisses


Domaine les Bruyeres (David Reynaud) Crozes Hermitage Rouge Cuvée Georges 2013 (US$35)

All Crozes Hermitage vines grow on ancient fluvial terraces of clay, sand, and detrital pebbles along Rhône tributary. Manual harvest using small bins with strict selection in both vineyard and on sorting table upon arrival at the cellar. Yield for Cuvée Georges Reynaud eaumont. Vinification & Elevage: Total destemming. Tradtional vertical press used. Fermentation takes place in concrete tanks. Indigenous yeast only. Normal cuvaison period of 28-30 days for all wines. Élevage for Cuvée Georges Reynaud is in a combination of 50% 228L neutral oak barrels and 50% concrete tanks for one year. Reds moved and cleared only by gravity and not filtered.


Dessert

Chocolate dessert, mushroom, red wine sponge cake


Domaine Les Bruyeres(David Reynaud) Crozes Hermitage "Les Croix" 2012 (US$40)

All Crozes Hermitage vines grow on ancient fluvial terraces of clay, sand, and detrital pebbles along Rhône tributary. Manual harvest using small bins with strict selection in both vineyard and on sorting table upon arrival at the cellar. Yield is 30 hl/ha for Cuvée Les Croix. Vinification & Elevage: Total destemming. Tradtional vertical press used. Fermentation takes place in concrete tanks. Normal cuvaison period of 28-30 days for all wines. Cuvée Les Croix is aged entirely in four-to-five-year-old barrels for a year. Reds moved and cleared only by gravity and not filtered.


100% Old Vine Syrah. Plum/purple color that carries incense, barbecue smoke, roasted meat and blackberry characteristics. The tannins are sweet and a full-bodied, rich mouthfeel.

Café et Mignardises


Thank You ... And See You in Crozes Hermitage

Annette has limited herself sofar on organizing winetours to East-, North- and South-Germany as well as to Bordeaux and the Bourgogne. For 2018, however, she has decided to branch out and to organize a Rhone Valley tour. Presumably, the tour will start in Lyon and end in Marseille. Stay tuned! Of course, a visit of David Reynaud is a must!


schiller-wine: Related Postings

Heads up for the 2017 Tours - to Germany and France - by ombiasy WineTours

Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France

Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours: From Lyon to Reims - Wine, Food, Culture and History

Germany-East Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Wine, Art, Culture and History

Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir

Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Winemaker Dinner with Château LAFON-ROCHET Wines and Winemaker Anaïs Maillet at Chef Bart Vandaele’s Hipp B Too Restaurant in Washington DC, US/France

Post-Rieslingfeier and Pre-Big Glou Dinner with 3 Top Winemakers from Germany at BToo in Washington DC: Clemens Busch, Immich-Batterieberg and Koehler-Ruprecht, USA

Weingut Gunderloch – The New Generation: Owner Johannes Hasselbach in Washington DC, US

The Wines of Stefanie and Alwin Jurtschitsch, Weingut Jurtschitsch, Kamptal, Austria

Weingut von Hoevel – The New Generation: Max von Kunow in Washington DC, US

A Feast with Jean Trimbach, Maison Trimbach in Alsace, and Chef Bart M. Vandaele at B Too in Washington DC, USA/France





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