VINE LINES SEPTEMBER 2013
A regular newsletter on the wines, vines and times at Rives-Blanques
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On y va?
On n'y va pas.
Parce qu'on attend
It seems appropriate to quote these words written in French by an Irish playwrite. To answer the inevitable question: no, we are not harvesting yet, and no, we are not yet sure when we will start. Perhaps the end of this week, probably next week, possibly the week after. It all depends on the weather.
And on Godot, of course.
So instead we take a retrospective look at our dream harvest, the well-behaved, beautifully cooperative 2012, and point you to the early and very encouraging tasting notes of the first wine critic who has tasted them. The inimitable and wholly admirable Jancis Robinson MW also said that the Languedoc has "some of the best wine value around", and please, above all, note this: "the whites have joined the reds as worthy of serious interest".
In the meantime, a number of French wine guides have also taken a backward look at our previous harvests in their brand-new 2014 editions, including our own two favourites, the Guide Vert of the Revue du Vin de France, and the voluminous doorstopper published by the famous French wine duo, Bettane & Desseauve. The smiley they gave our mauzac, Occitania, also put a smile on our faces.
And so we find ourselves in an uncharacteristic lull at this time of year. Time on our hands, and time to pay attention to the polite suggestion of some of our buyers that the world's oldest sparkling wine could do with a a bit of a facelift – or, as they say in French, a relooking. So this is how our Blanquette de Limoux looks now, after being 'relooked' this month - and we hope you will like it.
More relooking going on at Rives-Blanques, this one on the internet. Our brand-new trilingual website goes live today at the same old address: www.rives-blanques.com. If you have a moment, please do look us up and let us know what you think.
Or better still, come and visit us in person. The Rives-Blanques Tuesday Tour, Tasting and Talk continues unabated, and will do so for as long as there is so much interest. Just be warned: you may find yourself put to work if you come over the next few weeks ...
Speaking for ourselves, we will be glad to be put to work. Waiting is exhausting. There is a lot of talk and speculation about this vintage, but here at Rives-Blanques, it is still too early to tell. The grapes look good; it's just that they are not ripe enough. But as we write, the vines are beautifully gift-wrapped in a ribband of bright, blue, brilliant days: warm sunshine, cool nights, and a westerly wind - perfect for white wine grapes, perfect for us. You can hear them singing. You can hear us singing! And so, with optimisim.... on attend.
("It's Godot! We're saved! Let's go and meet him!"
"I've always wanted to wander in the Pyrenees."
24 September 2013
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