La Rose Vimière (Bordeaux, Lalande)
AOC Lalande de Pomerol & Bordeaux Supèrieur
It was in Libourne on a cold February day that we first tried Vincent LaGrave's wines. In the middle of a two-week winery visit deep dive, we contacted him to ask if he would join us for dinner at my favorite place, right near the Gironde waterfront, Chez Remi. I think Vincent was a little taken aback with the offer. A friend that joined us remarked to me that no one had shown that kind of interest in his work before. But we all got busy eating Remi's delicious Perigourdine food (recipes of his grandfather)-- and happily washed it down with Vincent's wine. For me, it was a highlight of our trip.
Vincent's a brawny, muscular silent type, a former professional rugbyman, that took up winemaking in his post playing career. But retiring from French rugby isn't like retiring from American baseball. He didn't buy a chateau, with turrets, a pond with swans, and a 9-car garage. He bought a barn with 1 hectare of vines. And he quietly works alone.
We had met a few years later through my good fortune of being introduced to the guy that sells Vincent his barrels each year. I think the guy wanted to keep Vincent's work a secret, but now and then I manage to get across as a trustworthy dude, and I finagled an introduction. And somehow, through those two meetings, Vincent and I hit it off. I think he likes that we're a small business, like him, and that we enjoy selling to direct to the end consumer, like him. I find it fulfilling to have relationships like this. Everyone wins.
Vincent's simple winery, basically a machine shed about a kilometer from the front gate at Petrus. He works alone (his business motto is "one vineyard, one family, one wine"), and is in the process of renovating his building using his own homemade scaffolding--made from old pallets!
Lagrave makes the three lovely Bordeaux from a small holding on the other side of the street--just OUTSIDE the Pomerol appellation. It is the kind of small farm Bordeaux project that I think widely existed 50 years ago in the region. But as commercialization took root here since the 70's projects like these became fewer and farther between.
2020 Fleur d'Eymerits Lalande de Pomerol
- from 1 hectare of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and a splash of Petit Verdot
- co-fermented into one wine, and aged in just six barrels for 20 months (only one new)
- bottled in summer 2021, and picked up just 2 months ago
- Drink upon release or, stored properly, over the coming two decades
- We get 300 bottles of 1800 total produced
2019 Chateau La Rose Vimiére 'Les Eymerits' Bordeaux Superieur
- small farm, handmade, and meticulously farmed
- plump, juicy, and polished Bordeaux wine
- made from dark-fruited Merlot, and savory Cabernet Franc
- small vineyard located just across the street from the Pomerol appellation
2018 Chateau La Rose Vimiére 'Fûts de Chêne'' Bordeaux Rouge
- 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc
- aged in a fine selection of French oak, particularly selected for elegance and finesse. No New oak!
- Savory elements of grilled herbs, graphite, and currants
- With almost 4 years in the bottle, a gorgeously knit together bottle of Bordeaux