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December 16, 2013
Movers and Starters: Chris Gory
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Feeling Low Energy? Drink This. Wines To Re-Balance Your Cosmic Life Forces
John Szabo's Weekend Wine Picks

Feeling low energy? Drink this. Cosmoculture is a radical form of winegrowing that harnesses telluric and cosmic energy and the magic properties of water, among other things, to produce wines of astonishing purity, energy and vibrancy. If you don’t believe that wine is a living product and can taste alive, then you must try these. Domaine Viret is the only estate in the world practicing cosmoculture (Alain and Philippe Viret invented it and trademarked the term, but are sharing their experience with others in the region). Below are my raw, stream of consciousness notes — I didn’t want editing (other than spelling and grammar) to get in the way of the energy flow… Wines are available through Tannin Fine Wines; contact Nicholas Pearce nicholas@tanninfinewines.com for details.

2011 Cosmo Viti (Domaine Viret) Vin de France (Grenache Blanc), Rhône Valley $19.95

A “Negociant” label, made from fruit purchased from neighbors who are in transition to organics or even Cosmoculture. An intriguing nose of smoky fruit, barley, oats, orchard fruit. The palate is rich, succulent, fresh and flavourful, with terrific texture, silky and suave. Long finish. Really excellent wine here.

Best: 2012 – 2015
Serving Temp.: 11ºC

2009 Domaine Viret Côtes du Rhône Villages Saint Maurice “Renaissance” $25.95

Zero sulphur, 24 months in concrete, long slow 30 day maceration. The workhorse wine of the estate; genache, syrah and mourv̬dre. Wow, this is alive, so vibrant fresh, vital. Perfectly ripe black fruit, red fruit, slightly candied but still fresh (sample opened yesterday). Terrific energy. Purity, elegance and concentration. Beautiful garrigue, violet lavender, licorice, amazing. Love this wine Рcould drink all day.

Best: 2012 – 2018
Serving Temp.: 16ºC

2007 Domaine Viret Côtes du Rhône Villages Saint Maurice “Maréotis” Selection Parcellaire $33.95

Old vine Grenache 60% and Syrah 40%. 15% alcohol. This is starting to show some oxidative notes, though true to the southern Rh̫ne style of ripe/ red/ jammy black fruit, licorice and garrigue. The palate is fullish, succulent, juicy, 15% alc. goes totally unnoticed Рthis is not tired or flabby.

Best: 2012 – 2016
Serving Temp.: 16ºC

2009 Domaine Viret Dolía 1 Le Paradis, Vin de France $60.00

50% Grenache, 20% syrah, 20% mourv̬dre, 10% carignan, three and a half months maceration in amphora, aged in concrete tank. Zero sulfur. Superb purity here again Рarresting. Marvelous floral aspect, pure dark fruit, licorice, brilliant freshness and acidity, but how can you achieve that with 15% alcohol? A total mystery Рparadigm shifting. Extraordinary. Pure and natural.

Best: 2012 – 2020?
Serving Temp.: 16ºC

2010 Domaine Viret Dolía 2 Le Paradis Ambré, Vin de France $60.00

3.5 month maceration in dolía (amphora): muscat blanc, bourboulenc, clairette and grenache blanc. Full-on Chartreuse nose, full of ginger, green herbs, licorice, fennel, like absinthe, totally unique. More expressive than Gravner. Fullish, incredibly herbal inflected, firm and tannic, structured, one of the most unique whites I’ve ever tasted. Incredible length. A totally unique experience.

Best: 2012 – 2020?
Serving Temp.: 16ºC


John Szabo is a master sommelier and wine writer for Toronto Standard. Follow his tweets here: @johnszabo.

More recommendations by John Szabo at www.johnswines.com

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