Winerie Parisienne Jugement de Paris 2016
Red | Ready, but will improve | Winerie Parisienne | 2016 | France > Paris | Grenache (36%), Merlot (31%), Tannat (24%), Syrah (9%) | Full Bodied, Dry | 15% abv
Not only the first modern urban winery in Paris, but these guys have planted the first new vineyards in several generations on Île-de-France, close to Versaille. Till those vines bear fruit (the first harvest is in 2019), winemakers Adrien and Julien source grapes from the Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, the Rhône, Bordeaux and Corsica, then make the wines at their urban winery in Montreuil.
It’s an inspirational and ambitious tale, building on the little-known yet long history of winemaking in Paris (there were 40,000 hectares of vines in the region in the 19th century).
Their Jugement de Paris pays homage to the famous 1976 tasting between top French and Californian wines, which heralded the arrival of the New World as a force to be reckoned with, as well as the Greek myth of Paris' being asked by Zeus to choose between three goddesses. This eclectic blend offers the riposte, why choose?
The chaps have expertly and sensitively blended four varieties never seen together, all sourced from old vines at higher altitudes around France. Each parcel saw oak as well as stainless steel tanks for fermentation, then aged for 18 months in oak barrels, one-quarter of which were new.
This is a stunning red of immense power and intense fruit character, the blending is astonishing and the balancing of the wood equally so. Quite how a wine as dark and structured is a joy to drink now is something of a miracle, and testament to some stupendous winemaking. Enjoy now, or tuck away and experience the development for years to come.