Aug 7, '20
Featured in 3rd edition of Luxeat Insider

5 favourite wines from the French & Italian Mediterranean coast

by Mirazur’s Benoit Huguenin

Well under thirty-years-old, head sommelier at three-MICHELIN-starred restaurant, Mirazur in Menton France, Benoît Huguenin represents a new generation of wine experts. “The first words chef Mauro (yes, he’s referring to chef Mauro Colagreco) said to me were, ‘I don’t want a classic sommelier,’” he tells the Michelin Guide. “He told me, ‘I don’t want a machine. Every guest is special. Every lunch and every dinner is special.’” And that’s exactly what he’s achieved, focused on introducing smaller, boutique producers from around the globe, where possible, biodynamic and natural wines. Especially for Luxeat here are his top-five of the moment from the Mediterranean coast.

Le Clos Saint-Vincent

Le Clos

Le Clos Saint-Vincent, 2017 

Perched on the heights of Nice, this area is an institution for wine amateurs. Using a variety typical of Provence, complex Vermentinos, called Rolle by the locals, are vinified and aged according to the art of wine-making rules (maceration, batonnage (lees stirring), aging on lees etc.). The sandy and pebbly terroir brought to light by the unlikely and infamous wine maker, Joseph Sergi, brings forth wines with a richness and beauty deepened through aging. But above all, it is the final and subtle reduction in the mouth that brings freshness and recalls beautiful notes of jasmine.

Hocus Pocus Microcosmos

Hocus Pocus

Microcosmos, 2017

Microcosmos, a domain that works exclusively with a single grape variety, from a single parcel for each tank. Presenting: Hocus Pocus, an extraordinarily macerated wine from Vermentino. An alliance of white fleshy fruits and exotic flavors set in depth with beautiful back notes. 

A dynamic wine made from a well structured juice. A glass of this and a mediterranean dish will be the greatest of companions. Thanks to Fabienne and Lukas Völlmy.

Coume Gineste Domaine Gauby

Coume Gineste

Domaine Gauby, 2017

A pioneering biodynamic domain in Roussillon that stands out from its peers. A vintage made from old gray and white Grenache, about nine years old, in great shape. It offers us juices of extreme aromatic amplitude and fabulous balance. A warm and dry terroir combined to create a wine of great flavor and minerality. A first-rate ally in high circumstances!

Crescendo Plus Terrazze dell'Imperiese

Crescendo Plus

Terrazze dell’Imperiese, Tenuta Selvadolce, 2016 

Crescendo, a name that sings in the Italian language! Aris Blancardi is a fervent winegrower at the service of his terroir and specialized in biodynamic cultivation. 

He cultivates “Pigato”, a grape variety from Liguria near Vermentino. 

And he has more than a few tricks under his sleeve: 32 months of aging. Yes, the yeast took some time to eat everything. The result? A wine of a complexity worthy of the greatest names. We find a slight reduction in the mouth, a perfect balance between tension and roundness. Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful discoveries of the year!

Rossese di Dolceacqua Vignaioli Testalonga

Rossese di Dolceacqua

Vignaioli Testalonga, 2015

In Dolceacqua’s heights, not very far from the sea, we find Enrico Perrino. A winemaker who uses ancestral wine making techniques; he knows better than anyone the secret to vinifying Rossese wine. This variety is not an easy animal, yet Enrico has learned how to tame it. 

The result is a wine of great finesse and silky tannins. On the palate we detect fruity notes of cherry and very seductive notes of sichuan pepper and black cardamom. A wine for aging, the longer the better.

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