Wine Education and Tailor made French Wine Tours – Come Wine with me!
Wine Discovery: Jacques Boutin
Jacques was awaiting my arrival, at the same time deploying his workers to channel
the ever increasing rivers of rain water from the vineyards, their vines now heavily
burdened with fully ripened grapes of Syrah and Grenache.I made my apologies and
fully resigned at my expected dismissal, was surprised at his reaction. With a wave
of his hand and a typical Gallic shrug of his shoulders, he beckoned me in.
The house was part of an old Benedictine Monastery and as we negotiated the well
trodden stone steps and worn corridors leading to the cellars, I could sense the
atmospheric history still existent within these vaulted caves.My command of French
was better than Jacque’s English but we made good progress with the reason for my
visit fully understood, to taste the wines of Chateau La Roque. The path to understanding
was made much simpler of course when you remember that ‘drinking good wine has a
common international language of it’s own‘.At Jacque’s invitation, throughout the
day we sampled old vintages and new wines straight from the barrel, wines crafted
in the traditional method [cuvee Tradition] and the finest wines of Jacques creation,
Cupa Numismae Red and Clos de Bendectin White, tasting and savouring the delights
of the originality of his unique style. Punctuated by frequent departures to assess
the conditions outside, we continued this tasting experience well into late evening.
Jacques offer of accommodation for the night.
After my deep, wine induced slumber, I awoke the next day to the unmistakable aromas
of baking bread and freshly brewing coffee, the sun had thankfully replaced the rain
and Jacques, who I was told had departed at dawn, was taking full advantage of this
welcome gift, to bring in his long awaited red wine harvest. Leaving grapes on the
vine well into late September to maximise quality, always tempts nature and tests
the bravery of the vineyard owner.
Since the formation of this warm friendship, these wines of character are firmly
entrenched on my list. Sadly, Jacques has now retired, however leaving a great legacy
of wine creation to the new owners, the family Figuettes, who continue to produce
these individual wines of great quality, in their own professional style. Jacques
now frequently flies over his old estate in the light aircraft he also lovingly restored,
perhaps making sure all is still well with La Roque and with all the memories of
his creations still fresh in his mind.