A Sense of Terroir - one-off wine trade orders

POSTED ON 31/03/2009

2008 Griottes Chambertin, Domaine Fourrier

Did you know that huge swathes of the greatest vineyards in Burgundy are not planted with vines? It’s the tractors. They need space to turn at the end of the vine rows, with the result that vineyards are robbed of their full potential due to a simple but inescapable mathematical necessity. Thus countless barrels of the finest grands crus are not available to the ever growing band of Burgundy enthusiasts.

a small tractora small tractor

But a solution has been found. After years of hard work, using technology of mind-mangling complexity, a tractor has been developed that can turn almost on itself over the vines, meaning that precious space can now be planted. It works by extending spider-like arms that lift and support the machine as it rotates above the canopy. The hydraulics are so sensitive that even densely planted vineyards can benefit, and it has been designed to avoid impacting the soil. The project has been developed jointly by the University of Bordeaux, under the direction of Professor Thomas Delaronde, and Château Pétrus, with some participation by Domaine du Clos de Tart. Jean-Marie Fourrier, the intellectual winemaker and rising star of Gevrey-Chambertin, expressed strong interest in the idea almost from the beginning five years ago. In 2004, he planted a sélection massale of his finest vines at the upper end of the Griotte vineyard, just below Chambertin Clos de Bèze, and has tested several prototypes of these fantastically expensive tractors on the plot. Now that the experimental stage is reaching its conclusion, many other domaines in Burgundy are expected to follow suit.

In 2008 the first grapes were harvested, vinifed apart, and are now awaiting malolactic fermentation in the domaines’s cellars. ‘I had no idea of the quality of this terroir, but now I know what it can do. It’s the perfect segue from Clos de Bèze to Griotte, with all the spice of the latter with the soft intensity of the former. It is so different from my regular Griottes, and in years to come will show greater complexity as the vines age,’ he says. The wine from this tiny parcel has been christened ‘cuvée du tracteur Thomas’ after its inventor.

As Jean-Maries’s earliest and principal importer in the UK, we are delighted to be able to offer this unique wine to our customers. Quantities are miniscule, and anticipated demand for this rarity is high, so there is a limit of 6 bottles per customer, on a first come first serve basis. For those lucky enough to be regular purchasers of Jean-Marie's Griottes, it will provide a fascinating comparison.

2008 Griottes Chambertin, ‘cuvée du tracteur Thomas’ £480 per 6 ibd London. (expected delivery Winter 2010-2011)

Best regards

Sebastiananother small tractoranother small tractor

E&OE Howard Ripley Ltd. April 2009

"Love burgundy? It's high time Howard Ripley was on your speed dial." Jane McQuitty, Times Magazine, December 2008

Howard Ripley Ltd.
Specialist in Domaine-bottled Burgundy & German Wines.
25 Dingwall Road
London SW18 3AZ
Phone: 020 8877 3065
Fax: 020 8877 0029

Special Offer of Extremely Rare Wines

Farr Vintners is very pleased to offer this remarkable collection of rare wines that has been lovingly assembled over many years by one of our best private customers. All the wines are offered duty paid in their original wooden cases having recently been removed from the owner's vaulted stone cellars in the historic market town of Port Vale in Northern England. The wines are now lying in Octavian warehouse, Charlton. This is a one-off opportunity to acquire these rarities as any wines that remain unsold after close of business today will be consigned to auction by the vendor.

Historic Port ValeHistoric Port Vale

Red Bordeaux

2003 Le Pin - 1 case magnums £6000
1995 Hosanna - 2 cases £900
1993 Croix de Beaucaillou - 3 double magnums £100 each
1991 Cheval Blanc - 2 cases £1400
1991 Petrus - 1 case £4200
1990 Pagodes de Cos - 1 imperiale £300
1990 Valandraud - 1 case £1500
1985 Ferriere - 3 cases £350
1985 Armailhac - 3 cases £360
1964 Les Forts de Latour - 1 jeroboam (5 litres) £750
Dry White Bordeaux
2003 "Y" Ygrec d'Yquem - 2 cases £1000
1990 Aile d'Argent - 6 bottles £150 per 6
Sweet White Bordeaux
1964 Yquem - 1 case £4000
1952 Yquem - 2 bottles £500 ea
White Burgundy
1995 Bienvenue Batard Montrachet, Jean-Noel Gagnard - 2 cases £900
1992 Montrachet, DRC - 6 bottles £750 each
1992 Puligny "Clavoillons", Sauzet - 1 case £600
1990 Puligny "ChampGains", Lafon - 1 case £800
1989 Corton Charlemagne,Verget - 1 case £600
1985 Montrachet, Dom Leflaive - 1 bottle £900
1976 Montrachet, Ramonet - 1 case £6000
Red Burgundy
1995 Griottes Chambertin, Armand Rousseau - 1 case £600
1995 Charmes Chambertin, Roumier - 1 case £700
1990 Vosne Romanée "Les Beauxmonts", Henri Jayer - 1 case £4000
1978 La Tache, DRC - 1 case 24 halves £9000
1962 Romanée Saint Vivant, DRC - 2 bottles £400
1949 Romanée Conti, DRC - 1 bottle £5000
Rhone Valley
1996 CDP Hommage Jacques Perrin, Beaucastel - 1 case £1550
1995 Cote Rotie La Mouline, Guigal - 1 case magnums £2500
1995 CDP Cuvée Capo, Pegau - 1 case £3500
1989 Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin, Chave - 2 bottles £500
1988 Ermitage "Le Pavillon", Chapoutier - 1 case £1500
1985 Cote Rotie La Landonne, Rostaing - 1 case £800
1983 Cote Rotie La Turque, Guigal - 1 bottle £400
1976 Cote Rotie La Landonne, Guigal - 1 bottle £350
Vintage Port
1992 Graham - 3 cases £500
1991 Fonseca - 3 cases £500
1983 Croft - 5 cases £300
1977 Quinta do Noval - 1 case £380
1977 Cockburn - 4 cases £400
1966 Cockburn - 2 cases £450
Vintage Champagne
1983 Bollinger RD - 2 jeroboams £300
1989 Dom Perignon - 2 cases £900
1992 Krug - 1 case £1200
1995 Perrier Jouet "Cuvée Poisson d'Avril" - 1 case £750
New World
1982 Dominus - Christian Moueix - 1 case £1000
1992 Chardonnay "Maté's Vineyard" Kumeu River - 1 case £180
1995 Almaviva - Concho y Toro/Mouton Rothschild - 1 case £500
2003 Pinot Noir "Block 4" Felton Road - 1 case £300

This is a special, limited availability offer that is being sent to a few selected customers. These wines are not available on our web site. A swift reply is essential. Orders may be placed by e-mail, fax or telephone but as I am away in Bordeaux this week tasting the 2008 primeurs, please mark all orders for the attention of my assistant Ms Avril Fewwell. Stephen Browett 01/04/09

Anthony Rose would like to thank Sebastian Thomas at Howard Ripley and Stephen Browett at Farr Vintners for giving me permission to publish their poisson's d'avril.

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