The Unique Provignage - from ungrafted Pre Phylloxera vines almost 200 years old!

 
Marionnet Provignage Header
Two unique wines from France's oldest vineyard!
 
I am sitting in La Table du Gourmet in Riquewihr browsing their wine list for a second bottle to complete dinner. It is a fine list, with many reasonably priced bottles from Alsace and elsewhere. I am scanning through when my eyes are attracted by an interesting entry. Henry Marionnet Provignage 2013 from Pre-Phylloxera vines. My curiosity is piqued and I ask the sommelier for some more information. She informs me that the wine is made from Romorantin, a mutation of Pinot Noir, favoured (and planted) centuries ago by the French King Francois I (1494-1547). Henry Marionnet has a parcel with original ungrafted Pre Phylloxera Romorantin vines from which this wine is made.
I ordered a bottle. It was different. Complex and thought provoking. And with an amazing story to tell.
So began our relationship with this unique wine.
France's oldest vines
The Pre Phylloxera Romorantin vines of Henry Marionnet
"In 1998, an old vigneron came to Henry Marionnet, the producer many credit with having put the wines of Sologne on the map and on restaurant lists, and proposed that Marionnet take possession of 36 ares (0.9 acre) of pre-phylloxera Romorantin.
The man didn't know precisely when they were planted but thought it was sometime between 1800 and 1850. "At the time," recalled Marionnet, "I immediately wanted to have the vines examined by the world's greatest living ampelographer, Denis Boubals of INRA. After dissecting the vines, Boubals confirmed that they were indeed prephylloxeric, because they hadn't been grafted and were very old, but he couldn't give me a precise age because the vines were hollow. He thought, however, that they must have been planted around 1820."

These 36 ares (.36 hectares) are among the oldest vineyards in France, if not the oldest. And they make Marionnet's Provignage. The vineyard, which has clay-rich soils flecked with silex, is in Soings-en- Sologne, 8 miles (13km) south of the Château of Cheverny. It lies outside the bounds of Cour-Cheverny AOC but within those of Touraine AOC. But Provignage is sold as a Vin de France for the simple, dumbfounding reason that the Institut National de l'Origine et de la Qualité (INAO) does not allow pure Romorantin wines in the Touraine appellation. So much for François I." Jacqueline Friedrich, The World of Fine Wine
I contacted Henry Marionnet and his son Jean-Sebastien is now in charge. Numerous emails were exchanged and we have been allocated a small amount of the 2014 and 2015 vintages of Provignage.
Chambord The domaine specializes in un-grafted vines and we will present more of these unique wines soon. It is interesting to note that the Marionnets are involved in the project to replant vineyards around Francois I's Chateau de Chambord, the site of the original plantings 500 years ago.
Being a new addition to our portfolio we offer both the 2014 and 2015 Provignage at a 25% Pre Arrival Discount. Be warned - we do not have much to sell so the earlybird will catch the worm.
Henry Marionnet Provignage Romorantin 2014
Landed Price $213.95
Special Pre Arrival Price $160.50 (Save 25%)
26 bottles available

Marionnet Provignage label NV
World of Fine Wines:
The 2014, tasted and drunk over two days in June 2016, was a fine, pale gold, a shimmering satin. I was first struck by the expression of freshness and harmony. There were notes of apple, fresh lemon juice, and lemon peel. Elegant and racy, it was a beautiful wine with a long, stony finish-a Romorantin that once again made me think of Chenin, of Vouvray and Montlouis.

Henry Marionnet Provignage Romorantin 2015
Landed Price $213.95
Special Pre Arrival Price $160.50 (Save 25%)
38 bottles available

Marionnet Provignage label NV
I don't have a tasting note for the 2015 but I can supply a note for the 2005 written in 2016. It shows the ageability of this unique wine.

World of Fine Wines
The 2005 Provignage, again a pale gold, mixing flavors of apples, citrus, and minerals, weighed in at 14.3% ABV and 6g/l acidity. (The 2014 was under 13% ABV.) But it was fresh, as well as plush and stylish, and would have been at home on a Michelin-starred table. My first experience with the wine was at the 2006 Salon des Vins de Loire, where I noted that it was a "must taste"-a crystalline wine that was full, complex, and elegant, mingling flavors of peach and ginger. Total pleasure.
To order the wines on line click here. You may also order by email to darren@grandmillesime.com.au or by phone. 

To view the full range of Henry Marionnet wines click here. We will add more information as soon as we have time.

Cheers,
Darren 

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Grand Millesime Pty Ltd

21 Toorak Road

South Yarra

Vic 3141

  

Phone: (03) 9326 5737

Fax: (03) 9326 6744

 

www.grandmillesime.com.au

sales@grandmillesime.com.au

Poitout Inextinct Label
L and C Poitout Petit Chablis Franc de Pied L'Inextinct 2014
Another Pre-Phylloxera Dinosaur
The Louis and Catherine L'Inextinct Franc de Pied Petit Chablis is made from a tiny plot of 0.55 hectares of ungrafted pre-phylloxerra vines. Situated on a plateau on the northwestern commune of Villy, the soils of clay retain enough water in the winter making it inhabitable to the phylloxera louse that devastated many vineyards in Europe in the late 19th century.
 
The Louis and Catherine Inextinct Franc de Pied Petite Chablis is hand harvested and vinified in stainless steel, and remains there until the spring. Extremely lightly fined and filtered, this 100+ year old vine Chablis displays a lovely perfume of minty minerality, lemon, ginger, white almonds with a hint of light red fruits. An extraordinary complex nose characterized by a medium frame on the palate that is elegant yet powerful remaining consistent throughout the long and lengthy finish. 
 
It is an exceptional and rare wine with only around 1000 bottles made annually.

The Australian: Petit chablis is the jumping-off point to the inimitable wines of the Chablis region. That said, there is nothing entry level about this 100 per cent chardonnay wine, made from ungrafted 100-plus-year-old pre-phylloxera vines. The first impression is of an extra dimension of old vine plushness coating the intense, classically chablis attributes of line, drive and minerality. Grand cru power without the plump. About 80 dozen produced each year.

6 bottles available.
$149.95
Click here to view and order on our website.
 

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