To say that Laure is familiar with the world of wine is quite the understatement. She’s a natural and her experience is first-hand, having grown up surrounded by the legendary vines of Meursault at her family’s 11-hectare domain. The precise history of the property is disputed, with members of the family laying claim to anything between 7 and 10 generations of fine Chardonnay production. Either way, our Communications officer has been submerged in the work of the vineyard for her whole life. She recounted cheerfully how she has always helped out with the little, family business with her brothers and sisters: “we loved putting the bottles on the bottling machine when we were little, and we joined in with the harvest as soon as we were old enough to hold scissors in our little hands”. Later on, two years of literary studies introduced her to sunny Lyon before she attended a communications school in Paris. Her three years there involved several internships, bringing her closer and closer to the wine sector and all the way to our door…
Would you like to go back to Burgundy, to take up the family domain, for example?
That’s not really the plan for now. Even with the experience that I have in the vines, I would need to pursue proper training if I wanted to take up the family domain, a BTS in viticulture. If this path tempts me one day, I’ll happily take all the necessary steps! Luckily, one of my brothers has expressed an interest in the domain. It’s always nice for wine makers to see a member of the new generation want to carry on, it shows that their passion for the earth has been passed on well. I recommend the film « Back to Burgundy »(Ce qui nous lie) by Klapisch, it sums up all of these issues and really touched me, it was like seeing snapshots of my own life on the screen! I’d also like to discover other regions, with their own grape varieties and working methods, so I won’t be going straight back to Burgundy in any case.
What does wine represent for you?
The world of wine has two important meanings for me.
Firstly, it’s a culture that brings together community and food. Having friends around the table, the smell of a delicious dish and one or two bottles to top it off bring us together! It’s hard to count the number of friends I’ve made thanks to the pop of a cork, this really is a passion that connects people.
On the other hand, something I really appreciate in wine is the value of the work that goes into making it. When I taste a cuvée, I also see the work behind it. During the lockdown I was with my parents, and the vine was at a point where it needed a lot of work. Sometimes I would do 2 hours of work in the vineyard before starting my ‘normal’ work day. So wine is this, too, working with the earth, weathering the heat and the chill, worn hands…
Do you have a favourite region..?
A trick question! Let’s say there’s a region that holds a special place in my heart. I didn’t quite have Chardonnay in my baby bottle, but clearly Burgundy is my home! I learnt to taste wine with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, so I have a penchant for those varieties and have always appreciated them.
However, the more time I spend discovering other regions and new wines, the more I begin to find interests elsewhere and I’m learning to appreciate all kinds of grape varieties. Last weekend, I went to the Languedoc, near Carcassonne, and I found the wines to be really amazing! I particularly like the Terrasses du Larzac cuvée from Domaine de Montcalmès.
Another thing I enjoy is going to visit wine-making properties in person so I can see how the producers work and what the landscape looks like around the vines. In Burgundy, people are sometimes surprised to see whole villages separated by hilly vineyards, and domains with vines that take a while to travel between in the car. I was excited to discover the Bordeaux landscape, where the vines of each château tend to surround the property. Other regions work differently still! We’re so lucky to have such a rich diversity of wine-making regions in France! 😊
Have you found any interesting wines recently?
I took a work trip to the Beaujolais region a few weeks ago, and we had the chance to taste wines from over ten different domains. It was really interesting to try so many iterations of the Gamay grape. At some of the properties, we even got to taste a few mature vintages, an experience that altered my opinion about the region as a whole. I particularly liked Domaine Louis-Claude Desvignes, wines with a lovely expression and good texture. They were happy to open the 2010 and 1999 vintages for us, both of which had eucalyptus notes and a cacao-centric nose – it was like smelling a box of bitter cocoa! Mee Godard also impressed me, she’s a passionate and humble wine-maker. I found her wines very delicate, at once silky and fresh.
Tell me about your summer selection
Well, for this summer, I recommend the wines I loved from the Beaujolais trip, the cuvées from Louis-Claude Desvignes and Mee Godard. They are deliciously flavoursome and delicate, perfect to pair with seasonal dishes off the grill.
A little Chardonnay is never amiss, and we have so many to choose from at iDealwine – many of them at pleasing prices for a little, summer treat that won’t break the bank! I trust you to find the right cuvée to accompany a gentle, summer evening.
If you like cooking seafood, a white cuvée from the Loire valley might be just the trick. I have a weak spot for Savennières – I find this to be a superb expression of Chenin Blanc.
Finally, I especially love Maury wines at the moment, either as an aperitif or at the end of the evening, just as the conversation continues and the day cools off a bit. Thanks to one of our recent allocations of the week, I discovered the talent of Mas Amiel, and I highly recommend their cuvées.