2019 Les Tetes Bordeaux Supérior 'Triangle'
Region: Bordeaux < France
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: organic grapes and yeast, hand-picked, spontaneous fermentation in concrete tanks, no fining, lightly filtered (vegan), minimal So2 at bottling only; 12.5% ABV
Winemakers: Nicolas Grobois, Philippe Messier, Baptiste & Vivien
Les Tetes is a project from a group of buddies who are each accomplished winemakers in their own right, but here collaborate on some natural red, white and bubbles, always from organic grapes and fermented on native yeasts with nothing but minimal So2 added. The home base of 'Les Tetes' is the Loire Valley, but they have been doing some négociant work in Bordeaux. Because the Right Bank has a lot of inexpensive vineyard land. This is the 4th year in which Les Tètes has had access to certified organic Merlot from a producer who has been having a hard time selling his domaine bottles. Les Tètes manages the harvest, and does the vinification in the winery where the grapes are grown.
We don't often find straight-up Merlots that we actually want to drink, but this one is fresh and fun, and showcases the true character of the grape (which is quite lovely unless you over-manipulate, over-oak it). The flavor profile is classic -- violets, black cherry, cedar and spice with mild tannins, but there is an earthy vitality that both grounds and lifts this wine-- like doing yoga on a mat of tobacco leaves and fermented forest berries. So, if you are feeling like a trip to France this spring but those pesky travel restrictions are getting in the way, drink this with a classic Bordeaux dish like duck confit and you'lll be transported to the Right Bank instantly.