Les Sabots d'Hélène (Roussillon, France)
During a late morning visit in June of this year, what started as a breakfast of cheese and red wine turned into one of the most raucous and bombastic lunches of recent memory. All timidity in the company present went out the window as soon as I put Joy Division’s “Shadowplay” on the stereo, and what followed was a joyous afternoon spent talking shit, eating merguez sausage and steak cooked in a wheelbarrow, tomatoes fresh from the market, endless wheels of cheese, watching Alban hump the air, and listening to his friend and newly hired assistant reminisce about his days as an Antifa bodyguard in Paris in the 80s. Even though Alban doesn’t like to make it obvious with the presentation of his wines, I had always known that he was a serious winemaker, and the barrage of back vintage bottles that he so kindly shared with us that afternoon proved my point to a degree I couldn’t even have imagined, each cellar gem having taken on a mature life of its own.
Alban, originally from the Vosges ranges, and now living and working in Feuilla, in the Corbières (of course his wines aren’t in the AOC) is classically, one of the most slept on winemakers in all of France. Like a good anarchist he prefers it that way, selling most of his stock to Asia and other export markets, and letting word of mouth do the PR.
Fresh in for late summer are a pair of thirst quenching white wines from Michel, both with semi-disgusting labels, and both so full of life.
Grenache Blanc / Macabeu / Muscat d’Alexandria
Alcoolitre 2021 1000ml
Grenache Blanc / Muscat d’Alexandria