12/29/08

New Year Night ...

Laurent send us this post about this unique wine, please enjoy it without moderation ...

THE "ANTIQUAIRE"
JULIE GONET-MÉDEVILLE



Julie Gonet-Médeville is often called “l’antiquaire de Sauternes.” It’s a curious title. What does this lively young woman have to do with antiques? The answer lies in her family history: For more than half a century, the Médevilles have let their Sauternes age for decades in concrete vats. The wines never see the inside of a wooden barrel—they go directly from vat to bottle.



Like so many great discoveries, this original method came about by chance. In the 1930s, Julie’s grandfather, René de Médeville, was feeling the effects of the economic slump that had hit the whole area. He decided to build concrete vats to replace the barrels that were both costly and hard to come by. After a few years, he observed that the wines were breathing well, maturing more slowly and developing more complex aromas. Thus Château Gilette, a Sauternes petit cru, became legendary for its old vintages.
Unlike her two older sisters, Gonet-Médeville, 30, always wanted to be a winemaker. After studying law, she worked alongside her parents for seven years and, in 2004, officially took over her family’s properties: Gilette, Les Justices (a more traditional Sauternes) and Respide-Médeville, which produces red and white Graves. She also brought something new to the table: Champagne Gonet-Médeville, a small house founded by her husband, Xavier Gonet, a young champenois oenologist.



Does the couple ever get confused, what with producing wines that are so different from one another? “In a profession like winemaking, which can be tough and repetitive, diversity’s a good thing,” they insist. And although they’d like to experiment a bit on the Graves property and in Champagne, it’s hands off at Château Gilette: “You have to get used to the idea that wine put in a vat today won’t be sold for another 20 years,” Gonet-Médeville says. “It’s a whole different relationship with time.”