Quintaine 2009 (Guillemot-Michel)
It’s 10°C in Paris and I’m happy I get to cook for my parents again this Xmas.
I’m yearning to watch the flakes gently dance downwards or sternly cover every path to make it an adventure. I long to walk in the snow at night, stop near a street lamp and turn my eyes skywards to relive that vertiginous sensation of falling up. I want to listen to the snow, the way it crunches, the way it sizzles, the way it haunts, the way it mutes.
I can picture myself, moon boots off, thick wool socks on, the fireplace lit and a dog snoring. When I open the curtains, everything is white. The only sounds outside are those of birds chirping and trees squealing. There’s frost on some windows, and the flowers drawn by the ice are so beautiful I could spend the day looking at them. When I came in from my walk I was drenched in ice, then I took a burning hot shower and now I’m curled up under a heavy quilt, near the window, with a thick book and an old record playing. A number of drinks would make fit companions to this picture, but since there’s a box of fine chocolates to be eaten, I’m afraid this story calls for Cognac.
Reality check? It’s raining, I’m in Paris, can’t afford fine chocolates (let alone Cognac) and worst of all I don’t have a snoring dog anymore. I wish it would snow. It would make up for so much.
The closest I can get to the crisp comfort of my frosty fantasy is with this bottle of crystalline Chardonnay from Mâcon-Quintaine. Pierrette and Marc Guillemot grow 6 hectares of Chardonnay that were planted by three generations of Pierrette’s family. The average age of the vines is fifty years, when Pierrette and Marc took over in 1985 their first decision was to stop selling grapes to the co-op. They then gradually but passionately converted to organic and biodynamic farming. In the cellar, they let the grapes do their thing. Having tended to their sanity, their environment, their happiness year-round, there’s really no need to help them further. They were well brought up and know what they have to do. They were provided with all tools necessary.
Since the different plots are very similar in soil-type and climate, the domain produces a single wine. One expression per vintage.
The mouth is more citrus like, ripe lemons, honey swirling back and forth. A blast of minerality maintains a certain precision, the wine draws a very straight line.
You remember that feeling? A snow flake melting on your tongue? The crunch of snow when you eat it? This comes pretty close.