Happy New Year! My parents and I open a couple of really good bottles from Thunevin-Calvet. Or is it Calvet-Thunevin? The labels say one thing and the corks say another. But maybe that’s the point; it’s a perfect partnership. Neither person has to come first.
This is an epic partnership. Calvet is a great winemaker with a really good grasp of what you can do in Maury. Thunevin is a great winemaker in other regions and a very astute business man. And neither man is going to let any rules or traditions get in the way of making really really good wine.
Maury is a region well known for doux wines with their residual sugars. But Calvet-Thunevin make big old dry reds. They have a doux, and it’s good, but their dry reds are where it’s at.
The French episodes will include the winemaker, Jean Roger Calvet. But for now, you have to watch my parents and I taste three of the dry reds. Very good stuff.
edit: Be sure to watch part two of our Thunevin-Calvet tasting.
Their entry-level 6 Euro wine is an outstanding value. Their more expensive wines are also worth the bucks. This is a property real far to the south, actually in The Pyrenées Orientales departement of France. But they still consider themselves Languedoc.
We talk a lot about the varietals in the episode and so let me clarify: The first two wines are Grenache-Carignan blends and the Trois Maries is predominant Grenache. The 2007 actually has a tiny bit of Syrah in it too.
Constance 2007, Domaine Thunevin-Calvet, Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes
Les Dentelles 2006, Domaine Thunevin-Calvet, AOC Côtes du Roussillon Villages
Les Trois Maries 2007, Domaine Thunevin-Calvet, AOC Côtes du Roussillon Villages
Garage winemakers – People who make wine in such small quantities that a critic derided “they could make that wine in a garage”. They tend to be individualists with properties in less noble parts of very noble regions. They tend to make really good wines that are hard to find due to the small quantity and high demand. I really like this GrapeRadio interview with Maltus that sort of highlights some of the stuff garagistes are associated with. edit: And this Grand Crew post about meeting Thunevin (and Michel Gracia, another great garage winemaker).
Jean Luc Thunevin’s English-language blog – He is one of the first garagistes or garage winemakers in Bordeaux. He’s gotten a lot of grief for his unyielding pursuit of the best wine a terroir can give (even when it directly contradicts the classification laws).