Tuesday, April 24, 2012

From the Tank

François and Jenny at work. Image from Organic Spa Magazine.
Search "Jenny & Francois Selections" through your preferred Internet search engine and several pages of excited reviews, well-articulated interviews, and passionate blog entries will keep you entertained all morning (true story!). Established by Jenny Lefcourt and François Ecot in 2000, the company offers a range of natural wines from small producers in France, Italy, Spain, and California. On Wizards' radar for several years, Jenny & François Selections have been the buzz in New York City and beyond for over a decade. Slow to launch our bid for representation due to our existing emphasis on artisan, terroir-conscious producers and strong attention to the wines of France, we have nonetheless carefully followed their progress and conquests in the U.S.. Wizards Nick and Howard had the opportunity to attend the 2012 Natural Winemakers' Week NYC in February and the rest, as they say, is (recent) history! We have established a relationship with Jenny & François' portfolio and are absolutely thrilled with Rhode Island's response.

Image from Jenny & Francois Selections.
Jenny & François Selections works with organic and biodynamic growers and, perhaps more importantly, with producers who take a natural approach to their wine-making. As explained on their website, "What we call natural wines are wines made with the least possible use of chemicals, additives and overly technological procedures." This means, in simple terms, that cultured yeasts are completely absent, little to no sulfites are added, and fining and/or filtration are avoided. The product is wine with unique terroir characteristics. In their words, "This style of winemaking for us represents a more true expression of place, of terroir. We do not eschew modernity, but we favor techniques that help to express the natural terroir rather than new-fangled modern ones that tend to homogenize wine styles and erase individuality."

Image from Jenny & Francois Selections.

Hand harvesting. Image from Jenny & Francois Selections.
One addition to our book from the Jenny & François Selections portfolio that we are especially intrigued by isn't anything we haven't encountered before. However, it a very good, and therefore more unusual, expression of the concept. The subject of this enthusiasm is From the Tank, a three-liter bag-in-a-box that offers great value, ecologically sound packaging, and delicious natural wine that will last for one month once opened. A direct collaboration between François and Denis Deschamps of Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues fame, From the Tank is of the exact same quality as blends bottled for Jenny and François. A red and a white are available and are great for serving by the glass at restaurants, for parties, picnics, boat trips, or for people who want only a glass of wine a day.

From the Tank Vin Rouge
Côtes du Rhone Blend of 40% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 15% Carignan
Chosen as The New York Times' 2nd best boxed wine in August 2011

Jenny & François Selections Tasting Note: Garnet in the glass with shimmering highlights. Elegant notes of smoky red fruit, violet, sweet herb & a note of baking chocolate. The palate is rich with ripe cherry & berry flavors, & a mineral note that is followed by supple acidity & velvety tannins. This is a very expressive red with a great concentration of fruit & yet it is never overly extracted. The wine finishes with floral notes & a dash of black pepper.

Pair with grilled chicken and pork, cold cuts, or by itself.

From the Tank Vin Blanc
Certified Organic
100% Chardonnay from Domaine de la Patience, Languedoc

Jenny & François Selections Tasting Note: Pale yellow in the glass with a tart, fruity nose & dynamic mineral scents. The palate opens with crisp citrus & peach flavors that are boosted by vibrant acidity & heady minerality.

Pair with seafood dishes, hearty garden salads, grilled vegetables, soft ripened cheeses or by itself.

 Image from Jenny & Francois Selections.
Bag-in-a-box wines have had a stigma associated with them, but consumers are adjusting their opinions and perspectives. From the Tank offers great wine perfect for a crowd with a volume equivalent to four 750ml bottles.  From the Tank offers great wine perfect for an individual with its one month lifespan once opened. The packaging is light, difficult to damage, and has a much lower carbon footprint than glass bottles. And most important of all, the wine is good! Please email us or ask your Wizards rep for a taste or for more information.

For further reading:

We thought it would be great to introduce Americans to the beautifully pure wines that we had grown to love and that are a true expression of the multitude of terroirs, disappearing varietals and traditions of France. We wanted to defend natural wines in the world, against big industrial wines with no life, no personality, no expression of "difference." We wanted to bring the taste of the varied terroirs of France to the US in the form of these pure, real, and revolutionary wines.

Jenny Lefcourt in My Daily Wine

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