It’s a match made in ‘green’ heaven, and one that will also please lovers of Bordeaux Saint Emilion wines. Two big names in the French wine world have collaborated to make a special Saint Emilion Grand Cru entirely from organic grapes and utilizing the latest ‘gentle’ winemaking techniques. Ruma Singh reports.
Bordeaux’s maverick winemaker, Olivier Dauga, ‘Le Faiseur de Vin’, has joined forces to collaborate with legendary Rhone producer and consultant Michel Tardieu six months ago in a project which is bound to have a major impact on Bordeaux winemaking in today’s environmentally-conscious era.
Both men, stars in the winemaking field, have unusual backgrounds in common: Tardieu is an ex-football player and management diploma holder who once worked as a driver for top-notch celebrities. Dauga’s more conventional winemaking background is offset by his love for the sport of rugby, which saw him more on the pitches than in the vineyards in his earlier years. When they met, they hit it off immediately, and the idea of DIXIT was born 6 months ago.
A creation of Chateau Vieux Pourret, DIXIT, shortly to be launched at Vinexpo, France on 23rd June 2009, is made from hand-harvested grapes. The vinification is done plot by plot in small vats, with low temperature vinification and gentle extraction. The wine is said to have elegance, balance, while preserving the fruit and also has a generous mouthfeel. It has been certified by both ECOCERT and DEMETER for using biodynamic farming.
Both men are excited at the prospect of the collaboration. “We did it (the collaboration) as it was a great opportunity to work together and to share our common passion for wine,” says Olivier Dauga to Sommelier India. The differentiator from other wines is the exceptional location with two different terroirs of great quality coming together, he added.
And no, following the organic route will not make the wine more expensive, adds Michel Tardieu. “This wine is not more expensive than other Grand Crus. In fact, it is very good value for money!” Organic farming is here to stay, he says, due to concerns about the environment. “The complexity of the wine will be strengthened by the natural methods used in the vines and the soil.”
The duo added that they expect to sell the wine primarily in export markets. The total production of DIXIT is 15,000 bottles.
Small but exquisite!