The Whisker Thief, aka L’Opera des Vins “Concerto”, Jean-Pierre Robinot 2011

From a small producer in Jasnieres, a sub-region of Loire who makes a bunch of variations of Pineau d’Aunis, including L’Ange Vin which I remember having outside during the summer. It’s really different drinking something as bright and limey as this in December. The bottle being slightly chilled made it taste even more focused, so after eating a raw-bar spread of oysters, shrimp cocktail and ceviche, it was a great transition.

Really, this grape just keeps blowing my mind: drop everything you think you know and expect about the possibilities of red grapes and let yourself go. This is a fruity wine, but with a fermented, sour note and delicate tannins. I had an image in my head, somehow likening this sensation to a man who’s worn a mustache ever since he grew his first whiskers, and then one day up and shaved it all off. The tingle of the cool breeze across his uncovered upper lip must be thrilling, if not kind of scary. How now to eat, drink, brush teeth? The whole approach has to change since there’s no whisker bush determining distance ratios. This initially shocking but VERY invigorating sensation is what gives me a rush when drinking L’Ange Vin. I’ve got a  feeling this has to do with Monsieur Robinot, who to my great delight appears below in solid form:

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This is the kind of guy you want making your wines: fermenting by zero-interference carbonic maceration, listening in as the magic happens, carefully guiding the process to the finish. Huzzah!!

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