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New Orleans, LA, 70119
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swirl and savor

Wine of the Moment Jean-Louis Tribouley Champ del Petayre

Beth Ribblett

Wine of the Moment
def. a fleetingly fanciful beverage of fermented grape juice characterized by compelling drinkability

Nick Selby came in the other day with a knowing smile on his face, the sly smile he wears when he knows he has a wine bag full of palate pleasing goodies.  He had just cause as the four wines, one from Austria and 3 from France, were all winners with each one ending up in the shop this past week.  Three of the wines were from Peter Weygandt, a living legend in the world of French wine imports whose logo is instantaneously stamp of quality on the back of a label.  Peter seeks out small, undiscovered artisans that produce complex, intriguing high quality wine by focusing on low yields, natural methods of viticulture, and minimal intervention in the winery and bottling.  One of the beautiful things about the Weygandt portfolio is the number of great wines under $20 like the easy drinking 2009 Chateau Baulery ($13.99) from the Languedoc and the earthier more structured 2009 Fontenille Cotes du Luberon ($14.99), two of the wines we featured in our Friday tasting last week.  But on that particular day it was the rich and spicy 2009 Jean-Louis Tribouley Champ del Petayre that really got my attention.

Tribouley with his ancient Grenache vines.
I've been a fan of the Tribouley wines ever since Nick brought me the "Orchis" a few years ago when it was still on the shelves at a ridiculous retail price of under $20.  Located in the Rousillon area of Southwest France, Tribouley is a master a producing lush, velvety wines from his 30 acres of biodynamically farmed vineyards.  He is a purist in his approach; plowing is done by mule, his low yield vines never see chemical fertilizers or pesticides, all harvesting is done by hand, only natural yeasts are used, little or no sulfites added and his wines are bottled unfiltered.  He is best known for his rich Grenaches, elegant Carignans and complex blends but in 2008 he produced 50 cases of his first vintage of the Champ del Petayre 100% Syrah.  Even in an average year like 08, the wine was a show stopper.  Now here we are with the second bottling from the extraordinary 2009 vintage with a total of 3 cases allocated to the state of Louisiana, and because Nick loves us and we love our customers, we will pop a bottle or two of this wine in our upcoming Wegandt tasting on Tuesday, January 17. We will have one case for the store and I won't sell any til the night of the tasting, I promise!!

Weygandt is a guaranteed symbol of quality
"We work to produce a sincere wine, respecting the vintage and the terroir. I think that the extraordinary quality of a wine comes from its diversity and from our ability to understand a little bit more every year without trying to master everything." - Jean-Louis Tribouley 
2009 Jean Louis Tribouley Champ del Petayre - Inky deep purple in the glass with a rich full nose of dark fruit with cinnamon and clove.  On the palate is has a velvety almost creamy texture coating your mouth with black raspberries, blackberries and plums plus notes of licorice and burnt sugar.  The finish is full and long and makes you want to keep coming back for more...$29.99