Newsletter Montirius - 2010 July
Christine and Eric Saurel
The adding of SO2 : a useless debate
We are often asked if we add SO2 to our wines and if yes, how much. Many are of the opinion that Biodynamic means wine making without SO2. This is incorrect. Here at Montirius, we think that it would be wrong to not use it. There are two reasons.
Firstly, SO2 is an excellent product for conserving. Certainately, for wines for which a natural acidity is important (e.g. champagne which has a low PH) adding SO2 is over the top; the tartaric acid naturally present protects it from oxidation. However, for wines that have a lesser natural acidity (which is the case of the Montirius wines), they are more sensitive to the air. Also, some choose to add tartaric acid to protect their wines. We refuse to do this, as we consider it changes the nature of the wine. We prefer to add SO2 which does not alter the nature of the wine. It encourages effectively the selection of the ‘good natural’ yeasts (All sorts of natural yeasts are to be found on the skin of the grapes). These yeasts will transform sugar to alcohol. Once the wine is bottled, the systematic adding of SO2 allows the wine to continue to improve.
The second reason is by the time you drink one of our Montirius wines, the SO2 which we added systematically, will have, for the most part, disappeared. In fact, the official laboratory for AOC wines, that helps us with analysis and advice, did some research on a biological domain at Chateauneuf du Pape. The research showed that after only one year bottled, the ‘free’ SO2 (the added SO2, contrary to the combined SO2, the ‘total’ SO2) had dropped by 50%. After 3 years bottled, the free SO2 was ‘NIL’.
We had the Montirius wines analysed by the same laboratory and the results corroborate those of Chateauneuf du Pape :
Red Vacqueyras Montirius Le Clos 2006 :
Bottled in 2008 - Free SO2 on 18/07/08 = 73 mg/l
On the 1/07/10 (start of sale) = 9mg/l (very low)
Red Gigondas Montirius Terre des Ainés 2006 :
Bottled in 2008 – Free SO2 on 08/08/2008 = 69 mg/l
On the 1/07/10 (start of sale) = 6mg/l (very low)
Within the 2 years the free SO2 that we added has almost disappeared. In fact our wines are generally drunk a minimum of 3 years after bottling. At this date it is more than likely that the wine does not contain a trace of free SO2.
Flower abortion on the Grenache... of no consequence for our wines
|Song of cicada|| Beginning of harvest|
|2004||21/06/2004||08/09/2004|| 2 months and 18 days|
|2005||17/06/2005||07/09/2005||2 months and 21 days|
|2006||13/06/2006||05/09/2006||2 months and 23 days|
|2007||11/06/2007||03/09/2007||2 months and 23 days|
|2008||24/06/2008||15/09/2008||2 months and 22 days|
|2009||15/06/2009||07/09/2009||2 months and 21 days|
The discovery workshop that we propose presents as follows: A visit to the cellar and a detailed wine tasting presented by Christine Saurel. After your welcome to the cellar, Christine will speak about Biodynamic culture and then bring you on a visit of the cellar. She will present the philosophy of the vine and wine which both she and her husband developed and put into daily practice. After the visit, you will taste the blends of each of our range of wines, comparing the ‘terroirs’ or soils, the varieties and the classifications: Cotes du Rhone, Vacqueyras, Gigondas. All of the aforementioned are certified Ecocert and Biodyvin i.e. grapes grown by biological and biodynamic culture. The quality and excellence of this type of agriculture is recognised as being of the highest standard both nationally and internationally. Note that if we receive you around the first fortnight of October, you can taste the grapes, see the wine being ‘created’ in the vats and follow the various stages of fermentation in the cellar. You may also take part in the real time birth of a Montirius wine; an extraordinarily short-lived time during which the balance of tannins and alcohol is achieved. To participate in this learning/discovery workshop, you should count on approximately 2 hours in time and 25 euros (incl. tax) per person. (Reservations only).
14th competition of Biological wines
Of the 330 wines presented – 97 got medals – 3 medals for Montirius.
Gold medal for our Cotes du Rhone ‘Sérine’ 2008
Silver medal for our white Vacqueyras ‘Minéral’ 2007.
Bronze medal for our red Cotes du Rhone Montirius ‘Jardin Secret’ 2007.
56th competition of Great French Wines 2010
Silver medal for our red Gigondas Montirius ‘Confidentiel’ 2009.
Prizes of the 28th ‘Vinalies’ 2010 organised by the Union of Oenologues in France.
Vinalies Prize 2010 for our white Vacqueyras Montirius ‘Minéral’ 2007.
Decanter World Award 2010
Our red Gigondas Montirius ‘Confidentiel’ 2007
Red Vacqueyras Montirius ‘Le Clos’ 2007
PFor more information Check our web site Heading ‘Récompenses’.
Our red Vacqueyras Montirius ‘Le Clos’ chosen for the 4 official dinners of the Avignon ‘IN’ festival.
The dinners were held on the 9th 10th and 11th July 2010 in the ‘Cours d’Honneur’ of the ‘Maison des Vins’, 6 rue des Trois Faucons, Avignon (Vaucluse).
Summer opening hours
This summer, we invite you to come and discover our range of Montirius white, rosé and red wines, from Monday to Friday 9.00-12.00 and 14.00-18.00. On Saturday mornings by appointment. If you wish to make an appointment, please call us on 33 (0)4 90 65 38 28, or contact us by mail. We would welcome you with pleasure.
The wine waiters of the island of Mauritius and our red Gigondas Montirius "Terre des Ainés" 2007
Inter–Rhône the group representing wine growers and traders for the Côtes du Rhône wines, chose Montirius to promote one of our wines amongst the wine waiters of the island of Mauritius during the month of August 2010. This move was requested in order to train 35 wine waiters from the hotel groups on the island. They will participate in the ‘Best Wine Waiter’ competition and of course propose a promotion of the Côtes du Rhône wines during a prestigious dinner with clients. We are delighted to have been chosen for the ‘Gigondas’ classification and it is our red Gigondas Montirius ‘Terre des Aînés’ 2007 which will be the driving force in promoting the Montirius image...destination the island of Mauritius!
To accompany one of our white Vacqueyras Montirius wines why not try tasting cheeses such as Cheddar, or Comté, Goats cheese perfumed with savoury or fig, or a Parmesan. Finally, to enchant your taste buds, we strongly advise the cheese shop creation of Mme Claudine Vigier, elected ‘Best Cheese producer in France 2009’. Le Colonel en Vadrouille. To be ‘discovered’ in Carpentras, Place de la Mairie.
Tél : 04 90 60 00 17.
Discover a presentation of our domain on our website "domain on video", under the heading ‘Chosen moments’.
Any comments or suggestions are welcome for our future Newsletters!
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