We’re diving into a very cool small importer company called Selection Massale that focuses exclusively on well-made natural wines. To be honest, in the wine world, the term “natural” can be quite vague, for Selection Massale this means a few simple things. They import wines from small wineries that work the land with organic and for some, biodynamic practices. Wines are fermented naturally with native yeast and there is low intervention in the cellar. Which ultimately means the wine is unfined and unfiltered, there is low or no added sulfites. These wines tend to be rustic in nature but are by no means simple or basic. In fact, it can be quiet the opposite, the complexity coming forth through the simplicity.
P. & E. Mullins
2020 Complemen’terre La Croix Moriceaux
I can’t help but mention this fun play on words, “Complemen’terre” is a mash up, play on words of “complimentary” and “compliment the Earth.” What a perfect name. Muscadet is an AOC on the coast of Brittany, where the Loire meets the Atlantic Ocean. The wine from that region is a perfect pairing with seafood, think oysters and shrimp cocktail…. The varietal is Melon de Bourgogne, and it is traditional fermented sur lie so it has a nice weight and texture to it. Winemaker Manu Landron came from a lineage of wine producers in the Muscadet, Jo Landron his father is one of the top producers of the region. We carry one of his sparkling wines, it’s phenomenal. Manu ventured to Chile and New Zealand to study winemaking in other regions of the World, but in 2013 came back home to settle with his wife. His father helped him obtain 7.5 hectares of certified organic vineyards which he farms with biodynamic practices. The wines go through malolactic fermentation in concrete tanks and there is minimal sulfur added if any. In the glass this wine is a cloudy pale yellow, obviously unfiltered. The nose is tart with green apples, fresh hay and a briny minerally note that is reminiscent of oyster shells. This is a wine that really tells the tale of its place. The palate is a nice medium body with a zippy acidity, hints of stewed apples with light baking spices carry on the finish.
2020 Un Saumon “La Boutanche Rosé”
Immediately I love this bottle (and not just for its liter size, but the shape is just awesome). I know that isn’t what should draw me in, but sometimes I just can’t help it. One of the many qualities of what makes this wine unique is that with every wine, the winemaker also changes. Selection Massale has a group of winemakers that each year they ask to put together a “glou glou” essentially, an easy to guzzle approachable delicious wine. Each winemaker is featured as a different animal character on the label, the grasshopper – Andi Knauss, the pig – Olivier Minot, the French bulldog – Quentin Bourse, the gorilla – Martin Texier, and this years’ rosé, the fish – Frantz Saumon. Frantz Saumon has had his Domaine in Montlouis-sur-Loire since 2002. Since he started as an apprentice to Christian Chaussard a very influential voice in the low intervention winemaking world, has always practiced organic/biodynamic agriculture and ferments his wines all naturally. He strives for purity, wanting to showcase clean and dry wines. This rosé is a blend of Gamay and Grolleau. In the glass is a pale orangey-rose tone. The nose is vibrant with aromas of cherries, strawberries, lemon peel and vanilla. The palate is smooth and clean with tart tingly notes of strawberries and pear on a dry finish. We “glou glou” this right up!
2020 Domaine Les Serrals “Cricri D’Amour”
To my delight, when researching this wine, I discovered its name is a reference to one of my favorite tv shows as a child in Belgium. Picture a cool hip early 90s French Saved by the Bell type series, but even better, it was called “Hélène et les Garçons” and as my given name is Hélène, it means “Ellie and the boys.” As a preteen with a cool intro song featuring my name, I soaked it right up. “Cricri D’Amour” translates to cry cry of love, but the saying means more like a bird song chirping love. To no surprise, two lovebirds make this wine, husband and wife team Fred and Chloe Serrals. The Domaine is in Faugères which is an AOC in the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region. In 2016 the couple purchased 6.4 hectares of organic and biodynamic certified vineyards. Both new to the industry, they have learned through experimentation and each vintage has shifted their techniques. This red is a blend of Grenache and Cinsault. In the glass it is a purple ruby, dense and hazy. The nose is without a doubt barnyardy with a bit of peppercorn. The palate has solid grip with lots of acid. The fruit is on the front and the finish is dry and rustic. It’s a bit of a bumpy ride at first but after letting it breath it settles into the earthy dry red that comforts on a grey day next to a warm fire.