The Garagiste - as I understand it - is a really cool idea. It's an email list and a warehouse. Judging from the e mails I receive - there is some really amazing food and wine that goes through that warehouse.
This is the skinny.
They send an email(below).
They order the wine.
They pay us!
The wine arrives in the warehouse.
The people go get it - or have it sent to them.
The Colline family will be going to Seattle after Christmas to meet the folks and check out their outfit up close and personal. Fun fun fun!!
Here goes! This is the complete presentation that went out to the Garagiste list - without the prices - discretion oblige!
A little dream.
A tiny gem.
A lot of hard work.
A mountain of fun.
Colline de L’hirondelle.
We all have a desire at one point or another in our lives - to cast aside a known reality in favor of an alluring unknown that holds as much promise as it does fear. The magnetism of a permanent escape of the foreign sort – an escapade of learning life anew – of growing vines, tending cow bells and whisking away to small town whistle-stops.
Some of us actually live that permanent escape.
Just ask Amy from La Gramière.
You can also ask one of the swallows below.
The goose-bumps of discovery remain the same for me, whether its in Nelson, NZ or Carcassonne, my intuitive cutis anserina usually tells me I have little time to lose or lose-out altogether. It’s the same intangible and intrinsic feeling I’ve had with so many of your past Email List favorites and it’s the same today.
As I stand in front of three glasses (that contain the wines I offer to you below), its apparent that a star is rising – off in the distance of the southwestern French horizon.
With undoubtedly the most charming and (for lack of a more cerebral word) cute labels in the trade, Colline de L’hirondelle is about to stamp their maker’s mark on the US wine-consciousness and that day begins this morning with a simple code of ethics:
Wine of a dream, a gem, of hard work and a Swallow Hill of fun.
The inspiration of Didier and Jennifer, this tiny project near Douzens is loaded with promise. Like last summer’s Oltretorrente (more on their second release in a few weeks), I knew I had about five minutes to secure any substantive rights to this wanderlust of an escape. While I also knew there would be missteps along the way (not every wine was going to be perfect – it’s only their first few vintages), the potential was too serious to pass up...
So I didn’t.
Nor should you.
If you think about it, how often can you sample BIO/organic Chenancon in pink and red colors?
If you said anything other than “never” I am suspicious.
With various rows, plots and soils surrounding their little “hill of the swallows”, the vine age ranges from near 90 years to 10 years. All are cared for and harvested with the tender pride reserved for small children.
With an emphasis on the above mentioned (and nearly unknown/local) Chenancon, this is a series of examples to dig into for its upfront fruity appeal but also its unexpected and quite deep/dark varietal tone. No, they are not the most complex of beverages but they are so much fun to drink and enjoy – what wine was always intended to be.
Dream. Gem. Work. Fun.
Thanks Jennifer and Didier for remembering what’s important and what isn’t – I have to re-orient my thinking every summer and kick myself in that over-swelled head of mine - to remind my mind that wine is about love and simple conversation, not about anything pompous, obtuse or what seems ridiculous as I peer at a wine farmer inching along in his 1956 tractor, barely able to make ends touch.
Something tells me, he’s proud and happy with his vinous life – without producing $1000 bottles, 100pts or trophy cases.
Just like Jennifer and Didier.
Community notes on all Colline de l’Hirondelle: http://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp?Table=Notes&iUserOverride=0&szSearch=colline+hirondelle
Lots of information here: http://www.collinedelhirondelle.com/
ONE SHIPMENT ONLY
FIRST COME FIRST SERVED up to 12 x each wine until we run out:
2012 Colline de L’hirondelle “Ventilo” Rosé (Chenancon)
(this year’s rosé is particularly great – it's a fruit-filled friend of the mineral-seeker with juicy red berries bursting within – it’s their best yet and it will last for at least another year with ease.)
2010 Colline de L’hirondelle “Cocolico” (Chenancon et al)
(this is their red wine focused on the indigenous Chenancon – it also bursts with deep-toned red fruit fun and a swagger across the palate that should not come this young in a winery’s life – a curiosity that is more than a question mark, it’s a cannonball off the high-dive into a pond of cherries, berries and a strong southern accent. The last time I checked, 2010 wasn’t the worst vintage in the South...)
2010 Colline de L’hirondelle “Oiseau” (Grenache et al)
(includes an 87 year old parcel of Carignan – the most accomplished of the three wines, this blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan is more adult in nature but can't hide its intent to run around in the backyard like the first day of summer vacation. More black fruit than red, more palate coating than juice-filled, it’s spice-tinged persona is not necessarily better than the above but it will turn heads...)