This stuff makes me soar….I dig it…..it’s my own little Kerouac moment….. my own vinous “On the Road” ……. I’m Dean Moriaty and the Overnoy Arbois Pupillin is the bug-eyed tenor-man….screeching out wild be-bop growls while I bug out at the front of stage.
“Dean was directly in front of him with his face lowered to the bell of the horn, clapping his hands, pouring sweat on the man’s keys, and the man noticed and laughed in his horn a long quivering crazy laugh, and everybody else laughed and they rocked and rocked; and finally the tenorman decided to blow his top and crouched down and held a note in high C for a long time as everything else crashed along and the cries increased and I thought the cops would come swarming from the nearest precinct.”
“Dean was in a trance. The tenorman’s eyes were fixed straight on him; he had a madman who not only understood but cared and wanted to understand more and much more than there was, and they began dueling for this; everything came out of the horn, no more phrases, just cries, cries, “Baugh” and down to “Beep!” and up to “EEEEE!’ and down to clinkers and over to sideways-echoing horn-sounds. He tried everything, up, down, sideways, upside down, horizontal, thirty degrees, forty degrees, and finally he fell back in somebody’s arms and gave up and everybody pushed around and yelled, “Yes! Yes! He blowed that one!” Dean wiped himself with his handkerchief.”
There are other wines that have a similar effect on me, but what grabs me about this wine is its rustic simplicity….it’s heady ethereal perfumes and it’s energetic line….that and it brings back good memories. Memories of a meal at Le Verre Volé in Paris on my last visit….the place was packed and I ate by myself on the makeshift surface on top of a bar-fridge, trying to keep my wobbly bar stool in check…just a simple meal….Toulouse sausages, some mashed potato, a simple salad and bread all washed down with a bottle of 2006 Overnoy Arbois Pupillin.
I got them to pull the cork out of another bottle to takeaway, managed to wrangle up a couple of plastic glasses and walked out of the restaurant a short distance to plonk myself on a park bench on the side of the Canal-St-Martin next to a middle aged woman sitting with her dog. I pulled the bottle out of my bag and being the consummate gentleman offered the lady a glass and to my surprise she accepted. Over the next hour we polished off the bottle sitting on the bench….talking about Paris, Australia, wine and a hundred subjects in between….when the bottle emptied she kissed my on both cheeks and we walked off in opposite directions……. it was a special moment with a complete stranger over a bottle of wine and it makes me smile whenever I think of it.
Pierre Overnoy is held in great esteem…..he’s the great sage of Jurassic wine. Pierre’s father ran a mixed farm in the village of Pupillin near Arbois….2.65ha of which was vineyards and Pierre took over the vines in 1968, leaving the rest of the farm to be tended by his brother. Quickly converting the land to organics he became one of the pioneers of the natural wine movement and counted the Grandfather of natural wine…..Jules Chauvet as one of his mentors.
Emmanuel Houillon now makes the wines at Overnoy after Pierre retired in 2001 at the age of 63…..Emmanuel started with Pierre as an apprentice in 1990, started planting some more vines in 1995 and today the Overnoy estate consists of 2.43 HA of Poulsard, 2.20 HA of Chardonnay and 2HA of Savagnin…..and the estate is in safe hands indeed….there is a great respect for the land, very natural winemaking with minimal intervention in the winery…..they are true wines of terroir.
The 2009 Overnoy Houillon Arbois Pupillin is 100% Poulsard (or Ploussard)…..the grapes themselves are fairly large and tend to be light of colour with an intense, perfumed aromatic profile.
Pale as can be…paler than pinot pale with a turbid, murky demeanor…..but that nose….it was poured as an options wine at dinner last night and there were more than a few “ohhhhh’s” as people around the table shoved their schozzolas into their glasses. So perfumed and fragrant with red cherry and blood orange characters coming to the fore…..as an aside, if you read any old tasting notes of Burgundy, blood orange is a descriptor the rears its head quite often…..not so much these days though.
There’s aromas of pomegranate and red fruits….dashed with soft spice and sultry, heady incense and souk-like aromas. Hints of mushroomy broth, rose water, dried flowers and marzipan in the mix also with a hefty serving of gamey aromas.
The palate is light, energetic and diaphanous…..so delicate and filigreed with a lacy complexity that really draws you into the glass. Again blood orange is the predominant fruit character with hints of dried tangerine rind, red cherry, redcurrant, incense, spice, dried flowers, game jus, rose petals and almond paste. Just beautifully detailed and alive in the mouth. Plenty of CO2 present on first opening but that gradually dissipates without a problem. The acid line just shimmers with a sapid minerality and the finish lingers with a gamey vapor trail. Special stuff.
Price: $80 – Closure: Cork – Alcohol:12.5% – Source: Cellar – Importer: Andrew Guard Fine Wines