13 January 2015

Tasting and buying wine in Irancy (2)

So there we were, having tasted three wines in the Irancy cellar we had chosen, really, at random. The "producer" — producteur — in other words the grape-grower and winemaker, was named Stéphan Podor. Actually, on the label, it says Stéphan & Marie PODOR. I didn't know if Stéphan Podor was the man we were talking to in the cellar.

We weren't going to spend a lot of time tasting wine, especially since I was going to be driving back to the gite on a circuitous route through several other picturesque villages. I told the man who was doing the pouring that I'd like to buy six bottles (called un carton in France, which is half the size of a U.S. "case") of the last wine we had tasted, which was a 2012 vintage called Palotte. He had already told us all, I believe, that Palotte was the name of the most prestigious plot of vines in the Irancy vineyard.

Here's a picture of the Palotte wine that Walt took and published on his blog here.

The man in charge looked at me and said something like: « C'est un vin qui se vend à 15 euros la bouteille. Ça va ? » In English: "The 2012 Palotte wine sells for 15 euros a bottle. Is that okay?" There was no price list anywhere, so I had to take his word for it. I hesitated. That's a lot more money (3 or 4 times) than I spend for a nice bottle of wine in the Loire Valley. But I didn't want to back down. I could have said, well, I'll just take two bottles. Or three.

Instead, I gulped and said the price was okay, go ahead and give the the carton. I figured 90 euros, maybe just this once, wouldn't break the bank. We had spent something like 12 euros a bottle for a carton of Chablis Premier Cru that morning. It's not like we go to Burgundy very often, and Burgundy wine is, by reputation, some of the finest France produces. I don't know when we'll go back there.

We said our au revoir and climbed the dark, steep steps back up to the street, carrying the carton of wine. I ducked to avoid bumping my head again. It had been an interesting but puzzling experience. The car was parked close by, and Callie was just fine and waiting patiently when we got there. We drove out of the village and back up into the vineyards to give Callie another chance to run around for a few minutes, and to take a few more photos.

I was starting to have second thoughts.... À suivre.


  1. So, it looks like you decanted this bottle of wine-- right? What is the need for doing that, Ken? I remember our selling a bottle of some super expensive wine (like $350!) at a fancy-schmancy restaurant I worked at, and the waiter went through a whole rigamarole of having a candle there, and slowly pouring the wine from the bottle into the decanter, using the wine to give extra light to see the wine as it passed through the neck of the bottle. Can you explain?

    1. I don't think it can ever hurt to decant a wine. Most don't need decanting. Some do, and the only way to be sure is to taste the wine first. If it seems a little harsh or astringent, decanting will "open it up" -- soften it and make it smoother. The 2012 Irancy Palotte was really too young to open this year. It needs 3 or 4 more years in the bottle -- and even then, decanting it might not be a bad idea.

  2. The scene in your previous post reminds me of us visiting Jean-No's 'cave' and the tasting and buying we did - thanks to you and Walt - in 2009 and 2010. Great memories :) Martine

  3. Hi Martine, I had that thought/memory too.

  4. Waiting to hear the rest of the story. The label on this wine is elegant, so I'm hoping it will be worth the price.

  5. < I was starting to have second thoughts …>
    Looks like it will turn out to be a good buy :-)

  6. totally off topic and to be filed under distracting chittychat and "just do the next thing": so i finally broke down and watched the Good Wife on sunday. this is the first time i've watched since That Big Event. it just made me really mad and now i'm back to not watching.


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?