BERRIES HAVE THE BEST MOUTHFEEL, the way you can feel each one individually in your mouth—like tapioca, or really well-cooked sushi rice. But people have lost some important berry vibe. These days everybody wants them to be sweet. I think they should be sour. That’s what I liked about saskatoons when I first encountered them in Newfoundland, where they call them serviceberries. I also like how the harvest window is so small. They’re not exactly rare. But commercially, you don’t see them that much. The last thing is that they’re really good for you—rich in anti-oxidants and very healthy. —J.C.
By the time winemaker Vincent Ravaut arrives, I’ve already tasted through about a dozen Ravaut wines with his cellar master Christophe.
“Is it still raining out?” I ask? “Yes,” he answers. “So we might as well taste wines. Can’t do anything in the vineyard.” What do you expect in early May? Rain. But it’s better than the frost the week before when the entire region banded together to burn hay bales to ward off the cold. Today, out of the rain, we taste…
Vincent sends Christophe off to search for another bottle. “Let’s try the 2013 Les Basses Mourottes,” he calls. It’s a 1er Cru wine from Ladoix, where Domaine Gaston & Pierre Ravaut is located. We had just tasted the 2013 Corton Grand Cru from Les Hautes Mourottes, the much lauded — and therefore Grand Cru designated — vineyard. It’s very much Pinot Noir, says Vincent, with respect. And it is: profoundly so, all red berries and earthy dry leaves, with a long, enticing finish. Vincent is very happy with it; he likes the lean acidity of the classic vineyards. The vineyard just below it — only metres away — goes into his Ladoix 1er Cru. At half the price of the Corton, Les Basses Mourottes wines are tremendous value and are, in some ways, more inviting.A little more spicy cinnamon, a little less concentration, but a supple texture and a seductive finish.
“Le vin soif,” he says. The thirsty wine — you just want to keep on drinking it. And so we do.
Domaine Ravaut Corton Grand Cru “Les Hautes Mourottes” 2013
$109.95 per bottle (case of 6)
Domaine Ravaut AC Ladoix Premier Cru “Les Basses Mourottes” 2013
$59.95 per bottle (case of 6)
To order, contact Debbie Shing
Not to be missed: Vincent Ravaut in Toronto
L’harmonie et l’élégance: A Burgundy Dinner
Vincent Ravaut will be in Toronto May 24 for an all-star five-course and five-wine dinner at La Banane in Toronto, along with winemakers from Maison Joseph Drouhin, Domaine Nathalie and Gilles Fèvre, Champagne Grand Cru JM Labruyere and Domaine Queylus. Seating at 7 p.m. Only 20 tickets available at $200 per person, including taxes and tip.
To book, contact La Banane