For today’s Wine Wednesday, I opened a bottle of Moulin-A-Vent AOC from Couvent de Thorins brought in by Wilson Daniels. The area is named Moulin-A-Vent for the local 15th century windmill which is surrounded by vines. This 2017 was a typical example of a Moulin-A-Vent with a little age. It had dark red fruit aromas of cherry and plum, lots of spice, and a dried herb note. It had a mushroom and earthy note that was reminiscent of a pinot noir but the color was a deeper ruby than a Pinot might have been. It also had a fair amount of forest notes with a hint of tar/smoke at the core. A relatively tannic wine with significant structure, it is a beautiful version of Gamay that can age. The esteemed Bubbly Professor, Jane Nickles of top educator at the Society of Wine Educators notes that the sweet spot for a Moulin-A-Vent is 6-10 years. The appellation covers two villages called Romanèche-Thorins and Chénas. The soils in this area are a pink crumbly granite with considerable manganese. Moulin-A-Vent is right between Chenas and Fleurie.
The wine I choose had gone through a pre-fermentation cold soak, aged for 16 months in stainless steel before release, and came from 40 year old vines. The 2017 vintage was apparently quite a difficult one with hail in July leading to very low yields which led to concentrated fruit which certainly came through in the glass. The winery is working on their website but here’s a link to the Couvent Des Thorins Instagram page and the Wilson Daniels page.
I have been fortunate enough to celebrate La Fête Nationale Francaise – Le Quatorze Juillet, a holiday marking the anniversary of the fall on July 14, 1789 of the Bastille, in Paris on a number of occasions. As readers of this blog know, I was a Francophile in my early life and majored in French in college. I remain one to this day. My foray into French wine led me to the French Wine Scholar exam at the Wine Scholar Guild a couple of years ago which brought back all that early love for the country.
My father has always been somewhat obsessed with France and the lifestyle and food so it is a natural for me to think of today as a celebration. When I was in high school we spent an incredible Bastille Day at the Paris Hilton looking at the fireworks and the festivities on the Champs de Mars. Which reminds me of that incredible Cole Porter song, sung by Ella Fitzgerald, “I love Paris.
I love Paris in the springtime
I love Paris in the fall
I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles
I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles
I love Paris every moment
Every moment of the year
I love Paris
Happy Bastille Day!