July 4, 2013. I’ll be back in the Western Hemisphere before long, but here’s one more missive from the Old World. Yesterday I visited Domaine Tour Boisée. That translates as “the wooded tower,” although the tower itself, part of the original fortifications of the village of Laure-Minervois, isn’t terribly “wooded” anymore, as you can see:
That’s Florence Hallet, export manager at Tour Boisée in the second photo. Some of you in Des Moines will remember her, since she participated in the Des Moines Wine Fest in 2010. She took as around to some of the Minervois vineyards and showed us some 400-year-old olive trees on the property, from which the winery also produces a tiny quantity of oil.
The first two vineyard photos are of 60+ year-old Carignan vines; the third shows the vineyard plot for the “Plantation 1905,” with 23 different grape varieties. And finally we tasted through some wines with Florence and with Tour Boisée vigneron Jean-Louis Poudou.
Jean-Louis reiterated the same mantra that Florence had told us while driving around among vineyards: “I do not make oenology; I make wine.” Jean-Louis is not interested in the advice of newfangled winemaking consultants; he would rather listen to the vines themselves and follow his instincts, learning over decades of experience what seems to him the best way to proceed.