There's a story that's gone around about Antoine Couly showing up to a salon to pour, and then deciding that he actually didn't want to share his wine, refusing all eager parties' requests for a taste, and simply standing there enjoying the fruits of his labor. Couly has the goods and clearly he knows it. I feel that I face a similar dilemma every time I receive a case of wine that I'm super excited about—Antoine's bottles case in point. Do I post the wines on Instagram as a flex, tell all of my friends and clients about it, or do I keep mum, tuck the cases away in the cellar and horde, opening the bottles on rare occasions for friends or loved ones? I see it both ways. Natural wine at its core is about sharing, but it's also about stewardship and respect for the product, knowing when the right time to bestow is, even if it's years after everyone else has already drank through their stock. Being a little bit shady and secretive is inherent to the gig, sometimes, and if one has ever drank a bottle of well and thoughtfully cellared natural wine, it becomes instantly clear to see the rewards of patience. I also see Couly's attitude here as recognition that now, in the 2020s, while there are a lot of very, very good wines being produced, the number of profound wines that transcend, like from all of the legends of the mid 2000s to 2010s that we look up to and chase now are of a much smaller number. Antoine, whom due to lack of quantity and an overall aloof demeanor, has remained pretty off the radar, but the fact of the matter is that these are wines that make the nerve ends stand up, with a particular jolt of electricity that only comes from those who have that special touch. I want to drink Couly’s wines both now and in ten years. No words, only feelings, and no fucking around here; this is Gamay of a very high order from a true out of left field talent.
La Debrydee 2020
Cret du Jour 2020