Juicy, immediate, and irresistable like Jean-Marie's famed cousin, Oscar. Oscar was apparently quite the charmer - everyone wanted a piece of him and could never get enough. Hence the charm and frustration of such a delicious and small production cuvée. Rarely is there enough to go around, especially in recent vintages when yields have been particularly challenging. Grab Oscar when you can and when he's not available, savor the memory and pray to Mother Nature for a re-appearance.
Color: Pale, transparent purple.
Appellation: Vin de France (all estate fruit in Saint-Chinian)
Site & Vines: single parcel of old Vine Cinsault on schiste. 50+ year old vines
Vinification & Elevage: Whole cluster, carbonic maceration in stainless steel.
Elevage: Aged in stainless steel and enamel lined concrete tanks.
Ageability: glug, glug, glug. Oscar's never been around long enough to know how ageworthy he is.
Suggested pairings: fowl with prunes, lamb with rosemary, canard à l'orange.
Languedoc, Saint-Chinian, Berlou
Jean-Marie Rimbert, self proclaimed defender of the Languedoc’s native Carignan grape, is a benchmark grower for the region and also a maverick. Self proclaimed “Carignaniste” and “Carignator” (aka defender and champion of Carignan) his cuvées show just how pleasurable and vibrant this often misaligned grape can be when planted on the right soils and farmed and vinified responsibly. He likes to say “Carignan is my Pinot” and it's an apt comparison. With his low yields (30hl/ha max, often less), intimate knowledge of his individual parcels, and delicate extractions (punchdowns), he brings out undeniable delicacy, nuance, elegance and ageability in the grape.
Jean-Marie’s AOC wines have become classics since he established himself as the first grower to bottle under his own name in the commune of Berlou in the late ‘90’s. His irreverent and playful VDF bottlings and keen sense of humor and imagination have inspired many. Today Berlou is recognized as one of the top Crus of Saint Chinian due to its high elevation and brown schist driven terraced vineyards and AOC and VDF bottlings alike brim with energy, lift and a crunchy, savory herbal expression that belies the soil’s minerality and the aromatic garrigue studded slopes.
Today Jean-Marie has 45 hectares spread between many diverse parcels, locally called travers, each with a slightly different soil composition and exposition. He started from the get go in the mid 90's with agriculture raisonnée and native yeast ferments and began converting to organic certification in 2013.